For most, it is difficult to understand how someone could take advantage of an older, vulnerable person. Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that can and does happen. In addition to physical abuse and neglect, many elders residing in California are victims of financial abuse perpetrated by unscrupulous caregivers and other parties.
Fortunately, you can help protect your aging family members by learning how to spot signs of elder financial abuse. The following section contains some common signs of such abuse.
Changes in financial accounts: Examples include the addition of someone new to an account, peculiar cash withdrawals and unusual use of credit or debit cards.
Unpaid expenses: If you notice that your elder loved one’s bills are suddenly going unpaid, it might indicate that someone is taking advantage of your family member’s finances.
Denied access: When someone targets an elder for financial abuse, one of the first things to occur involves isolating the victim from his or her loved ones. If this happens to an elder in your family, it is important to step in immediately to prevent further abuse.
Changes in behavior and appearance: Older victims of financial abuse often undergo changes in their demeanor. If you notice that your elder loved one is suddenly fearful or confused, it is probably wise to investigate further. In many cases, victims also undergo changes in their hygiene and personal appearance.
If you suspect elder financial abuse, the law is on your side. Taking your story to an attorney with experience in elder law can help you uncover financial abuse and identify the proper steps to take in remedying the situation.