Illness, disability and cognitive impairments due to advancing age can make seniors vulnerable to financial abuse. It could be any number of predatory schemes targeting the elderly and sometimes it can be maleficence on the part of someone entrusted with their care such as a nursing home employee or other caregiver.
To protect your loved one, family members and care professionals should take steps to prevent financial abuse. It is important to take preemptive action to discourage those looking for an opportunity to commit fraud.
Oversee Your Loved One’s Accounts
By looking at monthly financial institution statements or having online access to accounts, a family member can look for unusual activity signaling a problem. It may be sizable checks being cashed, ATM withdraws or other transfers that don’t add up. Staying on top of your loved one’s accounts will discourage predators from striking or at least keep fraud from going too far.
Consider a Joint Account or a Trust
You may want to consider opening joint bank accounts with your elderly family member, which will make keeping an eye on things more routine.
Another option is a revocable trust, which will give you access to your elderly relative’s accounts in trust and the ability to step in if he or she should become disabled. Unlike a joint account, it does not give the trustee any ownership interest in the account, but offers a level of protection against fraud.
Stay Involved in the Care of Your Loved One
Not everyone is able to live close to their aging family member, but if you are able to visit frequently and get to know the people who are coming into contact with your family member, this goes a long way in discouraging would-be thieves from targeting your loved one. Alternatively, keeping in regular contact by telephone with your family member, their caretakers and the administrators of the care facility will communicate your high expectations regarding the care of your elderly loved one to prevent potential abuse.
Get the Help of an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Unfortunately, despite your best intentions to protect your elderly family member, they may be taken advantage of financially or otherwise. It is important to get justice not only for your family, but also those who may be victimized in the future if nothing is done. If your elderly family member has been a victim of abuse, contact the Des Moines Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help today.
What We Do Really Well
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nursing Home Neglect