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Elderly at increased risk for financial abuse

Whether your elderly loved one still lives on their own, at an assisted living center or nursing home, you need to pay attention and help safeguard them from mistreatment of all kinds. One type of abuse you may not have thought of yet but is a cause for great concern is that many elderly Americans can be at an increased risk for suffering financial abuse.

A New York study estimated that as few as one in 44 cases of elderly financial abuse are reported to authorities, and it’s calculated that from $2.9 billion to $36 billion each year is exploited from older people.

Older people are prime targets

Many scams are designed with the express purpose of cheating the elderly. Scammers try to steal from the elderly for several reasons, but two big ones seem to be because many elderly individuals have considerably large amounts of life savings and because older people seem to be more susceptible to financial deception.

Elderly individuals may have difficulty remembering, a degenerative brain disease or other kind of cognitive impairment, all of which a greedy scammer would love to take advantage of. Some scientific studies have also indicated that even the elderly who don’t have cognitive impairments could still be at an increased risk of getting scammed compared to younger people. Mark Lachs, a doctor at Weill-Cornell Medicine, used the term “age-associated financial vulnerability” to describe the condition.

For the elderly at nursing homes and assisted living centers, the situation can be especially concerning. They rely on the staff members to take care of them, and that gives those employees the perfect position to take financial advantage of them. The elderly may not even realize or remember they were cheated.

If your loved one has been abused financially or in any way at a nursing home or assisted living center, it’s vital your family understands what legal actions you can take.

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