The term “financial abuse” refers to a broad range of inappropriate behaviors intended to deprive a person of their assets for the benefit of someone else. Older adults in nursing home facilities are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse, which can take several different forms. Knowing what financial abuse looks like can help you protect your loved one while they are in a vulnerable position in a nursing home.
Financial abuse often involves outright theft or fraud
One of the simplest ways for nursing home workers to commit financial abuse involves taking assets or financial resources directly from residents in the facility. For example, someone might steal the jewelry of an older woman while she sleeps at night. It’s also possible that someone on the staff might take a credit card or checkbook and use it before returning it to the resident’s room.
Financial abuse can also involve slow, emotional manipulation
The people who care for your loved one may have the opportunity to spend a lot of unmonitored time around them. Some workers will fabricate stories or even just use their own life stories to drum up sympathy in the people to whom they provide care.
The goal here is either to incentivize older adults to give them gifts now or to motivate their charges to leave them money or assets as part of their estate plan, likely at the expense of family members and loved ones who would have otherwise inherited those assets. If your loved one has suffered any kind of financial abuse, you may need to take action to seek justice on their behalf.