There are a lot of unscrupulous people in the world who enjoy conning others out of their hard earned money. These scam artists are notorious for targeting seniors.
Sadly, some con artists tend to focus on elderly individuals who have some mental decline and are relatively alone. Financial abuse of seniors poses a real threat to nursing home residents, according to one locally based elder abuse lawyer.
Why Seniors in Nursing Homes Are Still Vulnerable to Scams
Like any criminal activity, the criminal will be more likely to target those who they feel are an easy mark. Often, these bad characters get jobs where the elderly are likely to be. This includes nursing homes, hospitals, home care agencies and various contractors that look for lonely elders living alone.
There are strict laws that govern all of these senior related businesses by mandating that all healthcare employers must perform background checks on any prospective new hire before they gain access to vulnerable seniors within the facilities.
What Constitutes Financial Elder Abuse According to the Law?
Many elders who are victims of crimes are embarrassed to come forward in order to report the incidents. They may be frightened that harm will come to them if they tell.
Many seniors worry that someone will take away their freedoms and declare them unable to make their own decisions. Financial elder abuse is far more common than most people think.
This abuse could be a relative who steals their elderly family member’s money or valuables. It could refer to nursing home employees who take money from the seniors that they care for even though that’s against these facilities’ policies.
What Can Families Do to Protect Their Elderly Family Members?
Adult children often feel intrusive when they ask their elderly parent/parents about their financial situation. Many of these seniors have lived through the Great Depression and are exceptionally careful with their finances now.
However, this is a conversation every family should have if the senior is at risk of being abused financially by someone else. Having a low-key meeting to discuss these issues can help prevent this sort of thing from happening or stop any possible financial elder abuse if it is already going on.
Financial Elder Abuse Is a Serious Crime that Has Consequences
Many people who abuse an older person or tricks them into giving them money or expensive belongings do not even consider this abuse. Rather like a spouse who beats their partner but feels justified in their actions, abusers of the elderly might not realize that this is actually breaking the law.
Nursing home residents often become confused at times. It is fairly common for them to offer their caregivers monetary compensation. Some will even hand over jewelry or other expensive items thinking that they are simply paying or tipping someone for good service.
Are Nursing Homes Liable if Senior Residents Are Financially Abused?
Many families are incensed when they learn that their elderly family member was taken advantage of while living in a nursing home. The nursing homes are required by law to keep the residents safe from any type of abuse. This certainly includes financial abuse whether of money, personal belongings, or other assets.
Anyone that suspects a nursing home from failing to protect their elderly spouse, parent, grandmother or other family member should get in touch with a law firm that has an experienced elder abuse lawyer in the law practice (which could include a Los Angeles attorney for the elderly). Families should stay involved with their elderly family member to help prevent this type of unfortunate situation.
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