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Nursing home abuse: How to protect against financial exploitation

When you think of nursing home abuse, the first thing that might come to mind involves the physical aspects. Many people who place their loved ones into nursing homes in the Aventura area might not realize that financial exploitation is another form of elder abuse they should have concerns about. 

Not all seniors who reside in nursing homes are still capable of managing their financial affairs. Older people are vulnerable to a variety of influences that can interfere with their cognitive abilities and memory. They are also susceptible to their caretakers. Take some time to learn the signs of financial exploitation so you can take measures to prevent it and protect your loved one. 

Ideally, any nursing home that your loved one stays in should have measures in place to prevent all forms of abuse. Because financial exploitation can happen in different ways, you should monitor your relative’s financial accounts for the following signs of mismanagement

  •        Sudden changes in estate plans
  •        Unexplainable loss of valuables and money
  •        Forged signatures
  •        Addition of people to financial accounts and documents
  •        Complaints of theft
  •        Unexplainable gifts to other people
  •        Unpaid bills
  •        Unusual financial activity (e.g., large, unauthorized and random withdrawals)

Depending on elderly individuals’ health and mental state, they may not be in a position to inform you when they suspect or know someone is taking advantage of them financially. Keep in mind that some incidents of financial abuse also involve bullying and physical abuse. You should also keep an eye on them for sudden and unexplainable changes in behavior, appearance and health. 

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of financial exploitation, document your reasons. Inform the nursing home administer and get the names of all your relative’s caregivers. Look for proof. Closely inspect your loved one’s finances for discrepancies and report your findings to the local authorities. You should also consider speaking to a nursing home abuse attorney for guidance on how to stop it and protect your elderly relative from it in the future.

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