If an elderly family member has a health condition that necessitates moving into a nursing home, then you might spend your days worrying about how to make them feel comfortable and healthy. You might not think to watch out for signs of financial abuse that can occur in assisted living facilities.
Acquaintances of the elderly may become brazen about committing fraud once their target moves into a nursing home. By understanding how financial fraud might occur, you can take steps toward protecting your aging family member from this particular form of elder abuse.
How can financial abuse occur in nursing homes?
Unfortunately, family members may be the most likely individuals to attempt fraud against an elderly person. They may feel that living in a nursing home means that their target is mentally and physically powerless to recognize the intent behind their actions. Fraudsters might also believe that they can visit their target in the nursing home without other family members noticing. Be aware that nurses, caregivers, and other professionals that your family member might trust can also try to take advantage of their finances.
How can you protect an elderly family member from financial abuse?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a guide on how you can take action against elder financial abuse. Start by learning how to recognize when a malicious individual is trying to steal from or overcharge your aging family member. If this behavior does take place, report it to Adult Protective Services.
Elder abuse comes in many forms, and all of them can be equally harmful. Learning about financial abuse is a great first step in protecting your family member from fraudsters who seek to benefit from the worsening condition of a vulnerable older adult.