Middle-aged parents in Albuquerque are busy taking their children to school, activities all while holding down a full-time job. Many of these parents, though, find themselves a member of the “sandwich generation” where they are caring for aging parents while still raising children themselves. Their parents may live in a nursing home or receive home health care services. While we all want to make sure our elderly parents are taken care of appropriately, abuse does happen including elder financial abuse.
What is elder financial abuse?
Elder financial abuse occurs when a person illegally or improperly uses an aged person’s money or property for their own personal purposes. It is not uncommon. One in 10 Americans ages 60 and up have at some point been the victims of elder abuse. Relatives, friends and caregivers can all be perpetrators of financial abuse.
The following are some red flags to look out for if you suspect a loved one is the victim of financial abuse. They include:
- Changes in the elder’s financial accounts, such as adding a new name to an account or card;
- Finding unpaid bills even if the elder has the financial means to pay for them;
- An unexpected and sudden transfer of funds from an elder’s accounts to someone who is not a family member;
- Changes in your elder’s spending habits; and
- Your elderly loved one are frequently distressed about money.
These are only some flags that may indicate elder abuse is taking place. It is important to stay vigilant so you can recognize other signs that your elderly loved one is suffering from financial abuse.
Financial abuse can go unseen
Elders who are the victims of financial abuse often do not discuss the issue with their loved ones. They may be afraid of losing their independence or being forced into a nursing home if they are currently receiving home health care. Still, if you suspect a loved one is the victim of financial abuse at the hands of a home health care provider or nursing home it is important to take action to prevent further acts of financial abuse or other forms of nursing home neglect and abuse and obtain the compensation your loved one needs to become whole again.