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Signs of elder financial abuse

financial elder abuse

Elderly abuse isn’t something anyone likes to think about, but it does happen. the term abuse might make you think about physical harm, the more common scenario involves that individual’s finances being taken advantage of. 

Seniors losing their mental faculties are more susceptible to financial abuse, as are those in nursing homes who rely on someone else to do their bookkeeping or checking. Every year, these Sacramento elder financial abuse lawyers hear a surprising amount of cases involving just that. These are the signs to be aware of if you expect that someone is financially abusing an elderly individual. 

A Lack of Knowledge 

If the senior was previously sharp about their finances but has since lost knowledge of these matters, it should stand as an immediate red flag. This one won’t appear as forgetfulness, either. Instead, you’ll find them saying that they don’t remember taking money out of the bank or signing a check when their mental status has yet to be brought into question. 

Even if they are in a memory care facility, they should know if they authorized the individual they’ve placed in charged of their finances to take an action. This is, of course, as long as something like dementia or Alzheimer’s hasn’t taken too much effect. 

Shady Business

Another red flag comes from physical issues instead of mental ones. Handling household chores and taking care of maintenance becomes more difficult as time goes on, allowing grifters to come through and take advantage. 

These individuals scare the elderly into thinking there’s a serious problem with their home that needs repaired, but they’ll do so in a way that makes them seem like friendly, helping hand. The red flag pops up when your loved one now has an enormous bill from an unknown “repair” company or is paying monthly for maintenance that never happens. Check out these other common scams, as well. 

New, Strange Friends

Isolation is common among the elderly. If family lives too far away, there are long periods of time when that senior is left alone. They’ll probably make some new friends, whether those are neighbors or someone in the area. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but it should be a red flag when these friends seem strange. They might have undue influence over your loved one, make decisions for them, or your loved one might be giving them expensive gifts or those of sentimental value. 

Questionable Relatives

Many families include at least one member who doesn’t share the same type of morality or ethics as the rest. It’s unfortunate, but it isn’t uncommon for those individuals to try and take control of an elderly family member’s finances for their own gain. 

These individuals might try to persuade the elderly person into transferring funds, making excessive withdrawals, or make shady transactions. If you notice a family member suddenly changing their entire life to focus on the elderly individual without having talked about it with the rest of the family first, take it as a red flag.