More and more of our population is aging into retirement. With advancing technology and more complicated government programs than ever before, the potential for abuse is growing every day. The advent of cell phones saw a brief drop in telephone scams, especially as more people became Internet savvy and able to identify untrustworthy callers. However, the cat and mouse game of technological development means that scammers are more sophisticated than ever, and financial elder abuse can take forms that we often don’t consider.
Simply charging more than usual is a form of abuse
One way that our elderly population is being hurt is through bad investments and high fees. Grace Smith, the executive director of the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee, penned an op-ed for The Tennessean, pointing out that “According to a recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education and protection, almost one in five Americans over the age of 65 — 17 percent, or nearly 7 million seniors — has ‘been taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services or outright fraud.’”
When a family member is living at home and unassisted, they may be more likely to be the victim of financial abuse by unscrupulous businesspeople. However, just because your loved one is in a nursing home or other assisted care facility does not mean that they are immune to scams or other kinds of financial abuse. In fact, people who are more familiar with your loved ones’ activities and finances may be in a better position to defraud or outright steal money.
How to identify elder financial abuse
Detecting financial abuse, like detecting any other form of elder abuse, relies on knowing the signs and symptoms and being familiar with your loved ones caregivers. Common signs of financial abuse can include:
- Unusual withdrawals
- Insufficient funds fees
- Concern or confusion over accounts and funds
- Missing funds
- Forged or suspicious documents
- New and unusual relationships
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of financial abuse or any other type of abuse, there is no substitute for experienced legal counsel. The dedicated Nashville nursing home abuse attorneys at The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call 615.246.5549, visit our offices in Nashville, Gallatin or Knoxville, or contact us today for a free consultation.