Financial abuse can happen when you least suspect it, no matter where the elderly or disabled individual lives. If he or she has named an agent under a durable power of attorney, there is always a risk of financial exploitation. However, when your loved one lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, he or she could be more vulnerable to being exploited.
There are many ways a vulnerable adult, elder, or skilled nursing home resident can be a victim of exploitation. These can include scenarios such as:
Elder exploitation and theft can also occur when a care provider charges for unnecessary services, coerces a patient to sign documents that will personally benefit the provider, or improperly uses funds delegated to him or her for management under the Florida durable power of attorney.
The National Council on Aging shares that 1 in 10 elders are financially abused, however, only 1 in every 14 of these cases is reported. Understanding the warning signs of elder abuse and exploitation can help you protect yourself and your loved ones. Red flags can include a caregiver who isolates his or her patient, unusual withdrawals from bank accounts that the individual cannot explain, suddenly missing belongings or property, or suspicious signatures on financial documents.
Here are a few ways you can help prevent exploitation for both yourself and the vulnerable adults you care about: