Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes
When you place your loved one in a long-term care facility, or better known as a nursing home, you are expecting them to be taken care of. What you may not expect is that your loved one can fall prey to financial abuse while there. While it is no secret that con artists love to prey on our seniors it is slowly becoming apparent that these con artists are also the ones taking care of our loved ones.
Seniors are a captive audience while in a nursing home and they often can’t get away from the person using them. With various tactics, it can be hard to notice at first and often not until it is too late.
Types of Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes
There is no limit to how people can financially abuse people who live in nursing homes. It is all too common that it happens too. People see them as easy targets, often they are, and start to take money from the unsuspecting elderly. Here are some of the common methods:
- Theft of cash or items in the resident’s room. The elderly in nursing homes have very little privacy. The doors to their rooms are open most of the time and people are filtering in and out throughout the day. This makes the job for thieves much easier. Jewelry, clothing, and other important objects are at risk of theft.
- Theft of checkbooks or credit cards. Valuables that are not locked up are easy pickings for thieves. For example, if your loved one left out their purse, a thief can take it. They would not only lose their purse but their identification, all the cash they had, and credit cards. From there the thief can use the credit cards for a shopping spree.
- Misuse of checkbooks or credit cards. Not everyone is going to just take the items. Sometimes people have permission to shop or pay bills for the elderly person and they misuse that trust.
- Identity theft. Con artists can misuse a senior’s personal and finical information to open credit accounts in the senior’s name. From there they can run up debt and if the banking information was kept in the same area then the thief can steal the senior’s left savings.
- Tricking the senior into giving assets. A person in a position of trust can deceive a nursing home resident easily. They can trick the senior into signing forms that transfer ownership of their car, home, bank accounts, or anything else with monetary gain.
- Undue influence. One very common scheme is for someone to fake affection on an aged person. If few family members live nearby then this person becomes important to the senior. From there they can pressure the senior into making a new will and tell the senior lies about their heirs so they disinherit them.