Stories of abuse suffered by people living in nursing homes in Florida are not uncommon. Such residents may be easy targets for abuse (as their mental or physical limitations may make them unable to fight back against potential abusers). Yet you may not worry about your family member or friend falling victim to such an issue should they live in an assisted living center.
Typically assisted living facility residents are not dealing with the same issues as those in nursing homes (allowing them a greater degree of independence). Yet that does not necessarily mean that they are immune from abuse at the hands of their facility’s staff. A lack of physical indicators may not necessarily mean they are not experiencing abuse. Indeed, financial exploitation may be just as damaging to them as a physical assault.
Financial abuse of the elderly
Even though assisted living center residents often still manage their own affairs, that does not mean they do not look to the center’s staff members for assistance. Some staff may take advantage of that trust and use it for their own financial gain. According to information shared by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, financial exploitation results in over $2.9 billion in losses amongst elderly victims annually. Some methods through which assisted living center employees may take financial advantage of residents include:
- Cashing a resident’s checks
- Opening consumer credit accounts in a resident’s name
- Encouraging resident’s to give them administrative authority over their affairs
Common signs of financial abuse
Identifying if your loved one is the victim of financial exploitation can be difficult (as they themselves might not even know it). Therefore, you should look for signs such as unexplained activity with their checking, savings or credit accounts. A sudden influx of collection notices (or notifications of changes made to their estates) may also be signs of such abuse.