Perhaps the most surprising and underrated elder abuse of them all is financial abuse. Financial abuse is often overlooked because people do not often think of getting taken advantage of financially as abuse at all. Elders are often vulnerable when living in an elder care facility, and especially patients who are suffering from dementia or other health issues that leaves them unable to keep an eye on their money. On this page, I will discuss financial abuse in greater detail. Knowing the warning signs for financial abuse can help you prevent or stop it.
Warning Signs of Financial Abuse
There are several different things that may serve as a warning sign for this type of abuse, and if you have a family member or a loved one in an elder care facility, you may want to be aware of these signs to be able to detect financial abuse.
Large cash withdrawals or cash amounts being taken out of the bank is a sign that an elder has had their card stolen or information stolen. Not only large withdrawals, but also numerous smaller withdrawals may be a sign of financial abuse as well. The best way to keep an eye on your parent or family member’s finances is to have access to their bank statements and watch out for withdrawals of this kind.
Other warning signs may include noticing several unnecessary purchases or unusual purchases. If you notice that your elder loved one has been writing off large checks to someone, or letting bills go unpaid when there should be enough to cover them, this may also be signs of financial abuse.
You may also want to be on the lookout for inappropriate trusts, long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, and annuities that are not necessary. Believe it or not, even elder care facilities and insurance companies can scam elder residents. Financial abusers can be strangers, friends, caregivers, or financial advisors even.
Preventing Financial Abuse
If you are worried about your loved one being taken advantage of financially, the best thing to do is to get a plan in order. You may want to sit down with a trusted financial planner or advisor and create a plan for protecting his or her income and set up a direct deposit system for paying for services. Also, getting copies of bank statements and reviewing credit cards and bank statements every month is a good way of preventing financial abuse.
If you suspect that your family member or loved one is a victim of financial abuse, call our office to speak with someone who can help you and answer any questions that you may have. We are happy to help with your situation.