Suspicion that a parent is suffering physical, emotional or financial abuse is heartbreaking.  Personal injury attorneys are often called on to respond to concerns from families about abuse of their loved ones — either in nursing, rehabilitative or assisted care settings.

The Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as intentional acts of harm on vulnerable adults by a caregiver or other person.  In its many forms, elder abuse is hurtful, dangerous and exploitive.

The non-profit group Consumer Reports (CR) recently highlighted financial elder abuse.  In their report, CR reported financial abuse as one of the most common forms of senior exploitation ¾ and one of the least reported.

What is financial elder abuse?

Financial abuse is exploitation of a senior or vulnerable adult by anyone who unreasonably profits from influence on that adult.  By gaining their confidence, caregivers, relatives and strangers help themselves to the financial resources of an elderly person by pretending to help them out. Common methods of financial exploitation of the elderly include:

  • Theft of assets and possessions including jewelry, social security checks and deeds to valuable property like cars and real estate
  • Telemarketing schemes
  • Identity theft
  • Fraudulent marketing of unneeded or poor quality goods and service to the elderly

Signs of elder abuse may include:

  • Missing property or money
  • Unpaid bills
  • Changed banking arrangements
  • Inability of an elderly individual to account for a loss of funds

Any senior or disabled individual is at risk for abuse.  Exploitation and negligence of the elderly is against the law.  If you have questions about possible elder abuse, contact the authorities and an experienced elder abuse attorney today.