Financial exploitation is just a single example of nursing home abuse that happens to elderly individuals. According to the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), this problem is one that is seriously concerning. Consider the statistics about this type of nursing home abuse.
- Up to five percent of all Americans over the age of 60 experience some type of financial exploitation every year.
- Almost $3 billion was exploited from seniors in the U.S. in 2010.
- The Medicare and Medicate systems are being overburdened by cases of financial exploitation with almost one in ten victims of it having to be forced to rely on these programs after they lose their own financial security and stability.
- New programs to end financial exploitation were introduced in 2011, but they were only effective in stopping one out of every 44 incidents.
- The individuals who are close to the elderly person, such as friends, family members, neighbors, pastors, nurses, doctors and caregivers are most likely to perpetrate the issues of financial exploitation against seniors.
Common Examples of Financial Exploitation and Nursing Home Abuse
When financial exploitation occurs in nursing homes it can happen in several ways. Some of the most commonly seen examples of this include:
- The use of technology to help scam older residents
- A caregiver who uses the power of attorney status improperly
- The cashing of a resident’s check
- Theft of the resident’s physical possessions or money
- The coercion or deception to get a resident to sign wills, contracts or documents
- Forging of the resident’s signature
It is imperative that care providers and family members stay aware of any suspicious activity involving their senior loved one’s accounts, documents, cash or finances. Being aware of the signs of financial exploitation is also critical.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse: Financial Exploitation
There are several indications that your senior loved one, who resides in a nursing home, has become a victim of financial exploitation. These signs include:
- Bills that go unpaid
- Missing documents, statements, credit cards and checks
- Inconsistencies between financial accounts and statements
- Complaints from the elderly person of their property or money being stolen
- The sudden lack of medications or basic personal needs
- Agitation or distress when the person committing the abuse is around
Protecting Elderly Residents from Nursing Home Abuse
If you want to help protect your loved one from financial exploitation, you need to learn about the signs and dangers of this situation. By knowing the signs of this issue, you can take steps to prevent it, or act if you suspect it has occurred.