Many people naturally worry about elder abuse in nursing homes. Although physical abuse certainly occurs, loved ones of senior citizens need to also be aware of the dangers of financial abuse.
New stories have come up over the years of nursing home employees funneling money out of retirees' accounts or stealing valuables. The American Association of Retired Persons has a list of symptoms to look out for and what actions you should take if you notice them in a loved one.
1. Missing possessions
You need to take stock of everything a loved one has in the nursing home. When you notice something is no longer there, you should ask where it has gone. The senior citizen may not be aware it ever left, and you should ask the staff where the object could have gone. When the possession is something along the lines of a piece of jewelry or artifact, you should approach the staff about the issue.
2. Unusual activity on credit cards
After a certain age, professionals recommend family members have access to a senior citizen's financial accounts. This allows you to keep an eye on credit cards and spot unusual activity before it gets out of hand. You should take note if the credit card statement is more expensive than usual. You can look at individual items to see if there is anything your loved one definitely would not have bought.
3. Lack of food in the house
Because the loved one has higher credit card bills or no longer has access to all of his or her money, he or she may not be able to purchase food or other essentials. The next time you visit, you should take note if your loved one has everything he or she needs to thrive in the household. You can press the person as to why he or she is unable to buy such supplies, and it is here you may learn about the financial abuse.