Download a PDF version of How to Detect Financial Abuse in a Nursing Home
Types of Nursing Home Abuse or Elder AbuseUsually, when you hear “abuse” you may automatically assume physical, sexual, or even verbal abuse. Unfortunately, “abuse” can involve a lot more…
- Physical Abuse Physical abuse is any use of physical force that causes bodily injury, physical pain, or any type of physical impairment. For those in nursing homes, this type of abuse could include the use of unauthorized or inappropriate sedative drugs, physical restraints, or force-feeding.
- Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse is the non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly individual. This includes those who are unable to provide consent as well. This is especially important for those who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse This type of abuse generally involves the infliction of pain, distress, or mental anguish. It can be through either verbal or nonverbal acts. It could include actions like threats, intimidation, harassment, or embarrassment.
- Abandonment If an elderly individual is left alone and uncared for by another person who has assumed the role of caretaker, then they are likely suffering from a form of abuse called abandonment.
- Neglect Like abandonment, if the caretaker refuses to fulfill their obligations as the responsible person for an elderly individual, then they may be engaging in neglect. This can also include the failure to pay for certain services for the elderly individual, such as water, heat, or rent. Click here for more information about elder abuse and neglect.
Financial AbuseFinancial abuse occurs when someone else uses an elderly person’s funds, assets, or other property for their own personal gain or for the gain of someone other than the elderly individual. You can read more about types of elder abuse here. What is Financial Abuse? Financial abuse is difficult to recognize because it does not have physical signs or symptoms like other forms of elder abuse. You have to keep a close eye on the elderly person’s funds to determine if financial abuse is occurring. Types of financial abuse can include:
- Using credit cards, checks, or cash as if they were your own
- Stealing cash, income checks (pension, Social Security, etc.), or personal items
- Stealing the elderly person’s identity by using their name, birthday, and Social Security number (particularly to obtain credit)
- Forging the elderly person’s signature
- Tricking the elderly person into “investment opportunities” or to donate to a fake charity
- Do these signatures look like my loved one’s signatures?
- Would my loved one have normally spent money on this item?
- Why are these bills still unpaid?
- Where are these funds transfers going?
- Why is my loved one taking out large amounts of cash from their account?
- Have any names been added to my loved one’s account?
Legal Implications of Financial Abuse—Why You Should Contact a Port St. Lucie Personal Injury AttorneyIf you discover that a loved one is the victim of financial abuse, do not just sit there—do something! Financial abuse is a crime. It could involve charges, such as:
- False instruments
- Financial exploitation
- Identity theft