According to the National Council on Aging, the financial abuse of elders costs the elderly a whopping $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion each year. Like many forms of abuse, elder financial abuse is underreported, which means the true losses are even higher. Here’s what you need to know about identifying and stopping the financial abuse of elders.
The Risks of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse of elders puts the elderly at risk of losing their entire life savings. The nest egg that they’ve worked so hard to accumulate can be decimated in a short period of time.
In addition to losing their financial resources, victims of financial abuse may live in fear of those who are abusing them. They will experience a lower quality of life until the abuse ends.
Common Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
There are certain indicators that signal financial abuse may be occurring. Some of the most common signs include:
- Large amounts of money missing from the elderly individual’s bank account
- Odd changes in the elderly person’s credit card activity
- Possessions are missing from the individual’s home
- New accounts are opened in the individual’s name
- The elderly individual seems nervous about financial matters and their ability to pay their bills
If the elderly individual has a caretaker or lives with someone else, unexplained changes in that person’s lifestyle may point to a misuse of the elderly individual’s financial resources.
What to Do If You Suspect the Financial Abuse of Elders
It’s essential to take action if your suspect elder financial abuse. Unfortunately, confronting the elderly individual may not be the best course of action. They may deny the abuse or be unable to recognize that it’s happening.
Don’t feel as if you have to be the one to prove that financial abuse of elders is occurring. Instead, make it your responsibility to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities.
Your local adult protective services is an excellent resource to contact for help. If your loved one lives in a nursing home and your suspect other residents or staff members ar
Need more info about the financial abuse of elders? Contact an attorney with experience handling cases related to financial elder abuse.