Financial exploitation, also known as financial abuse, is a growing problem affecting seniors. Unfortunately, dishonest people prey on older adults, and many of these people are caregivers, nursing home workers, and in home helpers. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in 2008, 7.5% of reported financial abuse cases in this nation were committed by a worker in a nursing home or assisted living facility

Unfortunately, many seniors being taking advantage of financially either don’t know they are, or they are too embarrassed to tell their loved ones. For this reason, relatives of those who have family members in nursing homes should be aware of this issue in order to help protect their elderly parents or family members from becoming a victim of elder financial abuse in Florida.

What Does Financial Abuse Look Like?

It can be hard to spot on the outside, but financial exploitation is when a person’s money and valuables start disappearing. When money starts going missing from accounts, someone else could be illegally using that person’s money for their own purposes. Sometimes this can happen through threats, deception, coercion, or theft. Abusers may sweet talk, pressure, or threaten elderly people out of their money or property. In other situations, abusers steal money. Financial abuse can also include changing an elderly person’s will to name the abuser as the heir, or fraudulently obtaining use of a power of attorney to gain money and property.

Who Generally Commits Financial Abuse Against Elderly?

Financial exploitation is often committed by a person that is put in a position to care for the elderly. This can happen in a residential home, assisted living facility, or nursing home. An abuser is often a person elderly people know and trusts. However, sometimes this is not the case, and abusers are strangers who happen to get access to someone’s financial information.

Who Is at Risk the Most?

Any person is at risk of being taken advantage of financially; however, elderly people who are isolated from society, live in a long-term care setting, have dementia, have difficulty understanding finances, or rely on others for most things are the most likely to be the target of financial abuse.

What You Should Be Aware Of

If you have an aging parent or loved one in a Florida nursing home or assisted living facility, you should find out who is taking care of your loved one’s finances. Make sure checking and savings accounts look in order. If there have been changes in financial paperwork, modification to wills, trusts or deeds, an alarm should go off. If money is missing or paperwork has been changed, you should ask your loved one about it. However, it is important to know that sometimes elderly individuals cannot communicate well, or they feel ashamed or are scared, so they don’t report the financial abuse.

If you believe your family member is a victim of financial abuse in South Florida, an experienced Broward County nursing home abuse attorney should be contacted immediately. Contact the Law Office of David Benenfeld for a free consultation on how to protect you or your loved one.  Call: [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].