Yesterday we discussed the widespread problem of financial abuse of elderly victims. While many people take it very seriously, it can still be difficult to combat.
Financial exploitation of senior citizens can happen in a variety of ways. Here we offer a few of the most common examples:
- Example 1:
A resident of a nursing home is approached by a caregiver or even a stranger and asked to sign something. The person tells the resident, “This is to give your daughter access to visit you on the weekends,” or some other similar lie.The resident, who is often asked to do things by strangers at the nursing home and whose eyesight is poor, signs willingly without reading the document. The document turns out to be a contractual agreement giving the stranger rights over part or all of the elder’s estate.
- Example 2:
A stranger or acquaintance seeks out elders at a prime location, including geriatric hospital wards, nursing homes, day facilities, or even churches and synagogues. He or she purposefully develops a relationship or friendship with elderly people and, over time, convinces them to loan money or even give over portions of property.
- Example 3:
A son takes over care of his aging father and convinces the father to sign documents granting the son money. Those documents might give over all of the siblings’ inheritances to the son, even against his father’s wishes. Sound familiar? This is very similar to the story of Jacob and Esau.Family members are actually the most common elder abusers, so this type of exploitation happens all the time. It can also include more distant relatives like nephews and nieces.
- Example 4:
A fraudulent company calls an elder at home and requests her information for a fake service or contest. They use this information the same way criminals commit identity theft and ultimately empty her bank account.There are many more ways financial abuse can happen to senior citizens and nursing home residents, but these are some of the most common examples. Add to each scenario the possibility of dementia or Alzheimer’s and you have an even more vulnerable situation.
If you fear your loved one has been abused or exploited, you should talk with a lawyer about the situation and figure out your options moving forward.