Finding Out If Someone Is Stealing Your Loved One’s Money
The Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans has reported nearly $1.7 billion worth of suspicious activities, including actual losses and attempts to steal older adults’ funds. Unfortunately, the elderly, especially nursing home residents, are easy victims of financial abuse. And officials say these occurrences likely only represent a small fraction of elder financial abuse incidences. Family members or someone the victim may know, such as a long-term care facility worker, are too often the guilty party in these cases.
Financial losses are almost always more significant when the older adult knows the suspect. In 2017, the average loss per person was about $50,000 when the older adult knew the suspect and $17,000 when the suspect was a stranger. This is because residents may be very trusting to their caregivers and family members. In addition, the National Council on Aging estimates that more than 20 percent of nursing home residents are victims of financial abuse, and residents who suffer from memory disorders such as dementia are taken advantage of more often. These patients have trusting behaviors and cognitive disabilities, making them highly susceptible to the exploitation or mismanagement of their personal funds.
Six Things to Watch Out For When Suspecting Financial Abuse
The elderly are more vulnerable to this type of abuse for many reasons, including less access and comprehension of banking technology. Those living in nursing homes may be less capable, both physically and mentally, to check-in on savings and take care of their finances properly and may rely on others to assist them. Financial abuse targeting nursing home residents can also happen over time, making it one of the more difficult crimes to detect. Still, here is a list of some of the most common examples of financial abuse to watch out for.
- A signature looking forged
- Check cashing without authorization
- Resident complaints about money or missing property
- Unusual activity on a resident’s bank card
- Resident talking about signing over money or possessions to a new friend or gifts bought for a new relationship that may seem odd or unusual
- Presence of power of attorney papers or legal documents
As much as family members depend on nursing home administrators to be aware of any warning signs that may show the mismanagement of funds or a record of stolen money, financial institutions may also act because non-strangers of account holders are also guilty of stealing.
Chicago’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
The Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti can help if the personal finances of a loved one have been mismanaged or failed to be protected by their caregivers. Levin & Perconti is one of the most widely-known and respected elder abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, achieving multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals and families who have been impacted by all types of elder abuse, malpractice, or neglect.
Call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.