Anyone can be a victim of financial abuse, but statistics show that seniors are the most likely victims. If you suspect your family member was a victim of financial abuse in their nursing home, contact our nursing home abuse lawyer Bartlett IL at 312-622-2900.
Financial exploitation occurs when a person uses a senior’s assets without the senior’s knowledge or permission. A senior might be financially exploited by anyone he or she knows, including nursing home staff.
Nursing home residents may be more vulnerable and easier to exploit
Seniors are more likely than younger people to be victims of financial abuse and exploitation. Seniors are also more vulnerable because they are more likely to have cognitive problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions can make it hard for a person to understand what is happening around them or to communicate about their rights.
Financial abuse is not limited just to nursing homes; in fact, Research by the National Council on Aging, which collects statistics about financial abuse of elders, shows that older people are at a tragically high risk of being taken advantage of by financial predators.
Such predatory behavior costs the victims of financial abuse a staggering $36.5 billion every year. Cases of elder abuse are estimated to be widely unreported, so it is crucial for family members and friends to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Some key signs are fraudulent signatures on financial documents, unpaid bills, and unusual or sudden changes in spending patterns, their will, or other financial documents.
Elder abuse is unacceptable, especially when it’s committed by the nursing home that you entrusted to care for your family member. Our nursing home abuse lawyer Bartlett IL is here to help you pursue your claim. The attorneys at Carlson Bier are experienced and passionate about pursuing justice. Contact us for a consultation.
Signs of financial exploitation
Anyone can be a victim of financial abuse, but statistics show that seniors are the most likely victims. The elderly are often targeted by financial predators because they see them as easy targets—they may have cognitive impairments or a decreased ability to make decisions on their own behalf, which makes it easier for an abuser to take advantage of them.
Financial exploitation can come in the form of stealing valuables, illicitly using a nursing home resident’s credit cards, checks, or cash, or convincing an older person that someone they love is in dire need of assistance. Because it can be difficult to catch financial abuse, it may go on for years before the fraud is realized and the perpetrator is caught.
Signs that your elderly loved one may be suffering from financial abuse include:
- A sudden new “best friend” who claims to be acting in your loved one’s best interests
- Changes or attempted changes to your loved one’s will or power of attorney
- Checks, charges, or bank statements that go to someone unfamiliar or unusual
- Confusion regarding overspending or the inability to explain certain suspicious transactions
- Forged signatures on checks or other legal documents
- Large or unusual cash withdrawals or transfers
- Missing property, especially jewelry and other valuables
- Unpaid bills that were previously paid, including utility cutoffs
Financial abuse is also often accompanied by other forms of elder abuse such as physical and emotional abuse and neglect. In fact, many experts argue that financial exploitation should be considered part of this larger problem since it can lead to other types of harm for seniors. If you suspect abuse and financial exploitation, contact our nursing home abuse lawyer Bartlett IL for a consultation.
Our nursing home abuse lawyer Bartlett IL will help you pursue justice
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that some seniors never report financial exploitation because they’re ashamed or don’t realize they’re being abused or exploited. Some may also be too embarrassed to admit they’ve been taken advantage of and fear that their family will be upset with them.
Seniors who have been financially abused may not realize it until after the fact, as well, making it more difficult for them to seek help from others in the community once they’ve realized what’s happened. These individuals may also be too embarrassed about what’s happened for them to ask for legal help through legal aid groups and other organizations that can provide assistance with financial abuse cases involving nursing home residents.
If you suspect that your loved one is being financially abused, contact the facility and demand an explanation. If they do not immediately comply with your request, contact authorities. You can also report financial abuse allegations to the police or state attorney general’s office. Once you have done that, you can contact our nursing home abuse lawyer Bartlett IL for a consultation and to help you pursue your elder abuse claim.