When most people think about nursing home abuse, they think about bruises, verbal abuse, and other common problems. However, it’s worth remembering that financial abuse is a common issue too. Financial abuse, also referred to as material exploitation, is an issue that takes place when another individual makes use of a person’s assets, funds, or property, without their permission.
Because nursing home residents are often vulnerable, they can frequently be exposed to various types of nursing home abuse, including financial issues. It can sometimes be easy to persuade a confused older person into handing over their money, or take control of their finances without their permission.
According to the laws surrounding nursing home care in California, all facilities should be frequently licensed and regulated to ensure that no instants of abuse can take place. All nursing homes must comply with the standards laid out by the Department of Public Health.
How to Identify Financial Abuse
One of the biggest issues that the loved-ones and relatives of people in nursing homes face, is the fact that it can be very difficult to pinpoint issues of abuse. In order to stop further issues of abuse from taking place, it’s critical for people to recognize the problems that are occurring, and alert the correct authorities.
Being aware of the common signs associated with financial abuse can help reduce a person’s risk of serious danger within a nursing home setting. For instance, if you find that a resident suddenly appears to withdraw from all social activities, then this could be a sign that there is a problem with abuse. Similarly, disappearing funds or personal possessions should raise suspicions about financial abuse.
Factors that Indicate Financial Abuse
The signs of financial abuse can differ from one victim to the next. However, there are a few common issues that remain to be a significant problem among many residents.
Here are some signs to watch out for:
- The loved one writing out checks to a caregiver or supporting staff
- Unexplained transfer of money or assets
- Sudden changes in a will, or financial document.
- Conditions that don’t reflect their financial resources
- Changes in banking funds
- Loss of personal belongings (on a frequent basis)
- Discomfort speaking about financial issues
How to Stop Financial Abuse
One of the best ways to detect and stop financial abuse in California is to visit vulnerable adults frequently, and take steps to prevent abuse wherever possible. The best way to begin is to educate yourself as to the warning signs of different forms of abuse.
Where possible, try to make sure that more than one person is responsible for checking the loved one’s finances frequently. Be wary of caregivers that might want to take control of finances, or attempt to isolate your resident. You should also consider using direct deposits for paying bills and checks, and communicating with financial institutions when possible to reduce the risk of suspicious behavior.
Makarem & Associates Knows How to Win
We know the signs of abuse and we know the avenues you can take. The first meeting with us is free. Call us now!