The financial exploitation of the elderly is growing problem and raising awareness is important to protect family members who are vulnerable to this crime.
Renewed measures against illegal or improper use of senior’s money, property or assets are being considered in many states across the nation. Fraud prevention, including identity theft, are part of the conversation.
A handful of states have strengthened their existing laws to punish those who prey on the elderly. For example, Idaho recently revised its definition of neglect of vulnerable adults to include financial exploitation and Illinois extended its statute of limitations from 3 to 7 years to prosecute those who take financial advantage of a senior.
Despite various efforts, however, financial exploitation is routinely overlooked and underreported and, as the number of older, wealthier people grows, so does the number of people eager to prey on them.
While states ramp up to address the problem, the federal government has made strides of its own to combat the issue.
So many elderly people either live independently or in nursing home facilities, where they may come in contact with a bad apple intent on financial wrong doing. As family members, we can help by recognizing danger signs, which can include the disappearance of large funds or assets, changes in wills deeds and power of attorney, large or frequent withdrawals of money from accounts or an inability to pay bills.
Regularly talking to your elderly family member about their finances may help you determine if someone is exploiting them. If you suspect your elderly family member is a victim of financial abuse, it is important to alert authorities to protect their well-being.
If you or a family member has suffered neglect or abuse in an Iowa nursing home facility, including financial exploitation, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help today at 515-283-2116.
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