Although nursing homes can be the site of elder abuse and caregivers can be guilty of related crimes, the problem also exists in the home. Anywhere that elders and their reactions to events can be hidden from public view is a possible site for abuse, which thrives on secrecy.

Nursing homes can become the venue, or even the enabler, of family abuse. The most obvious and criminally punishable types of abuse are physical or mental abuse, which has several symptoms that appear in both the victim and the aggressor.

Financial abuse or exploitation is fast becoming a common crime in Florida, where the high proportion of elders draw unscrupulous family members and business people to a chance to fleece seniors. A Fort Myers man was recently charged in connection to the financial exploitation of his parents.

The couple gave their son power of attorney and sold their home to renovate a space in the son’s home. Lee County officials allege the son spent the money on pizza, movies and cellphone bills. The mother languished in a nursing home while her bills went unpaid, and the father was left unclaimed at a funeral home after his death.

The son was charged and found guilty of four counts of first-degree exploitation involving an elderly person. If such financial abuse or other type of elder abuse becomes apparent, law enforcement should be contacted and evidence must be gathered.

An attorney is an advisable part of a team to fight a personal case of elder abuse or defend a loved one from excesses and mistreatment.

Source: USA Today, “Son fleeces elderly parents: Mom left in nursing home, dad at funeral home,” Melanie Payne, Oct. 16, 2017