You may have heard about physical, emotional, and even sexual abuse, unfortunately, occurring in residential care facilities. But are you aware that the elderly are part of a vulnerable population that also suffers financial abuse? Read on to discover what you should do if your loved one is being financially abused and how a seasoned California elder abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP can assist you throughout.
What are warning signs that my loved one is being financially abused?
Though it may be much to your surprise, financial exploitation is declared to be the most common form of elder abuse. It is estimated that members of the elderly community lose up to $37 billion each year due to financial abuse. And yet, it has the smallest fraction of incidents reported compared to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. This is likely because the warning signs are less visible.
With that being said, you must rise to the role of being your loved one’s protector. You must be their eyes and ears when looking out for any warning signs of financial abuse, as they may not understand what is going on or forget about the incidents of abuse. Warning signs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Your loved one becomes dazed or distressed when discussing money matters with you.
- Your loved one does not recall or cannot explain certain money transactions.
- Your loved one is making more frequent and larger money withdrawals.
- You discover questionable signatures or forged numbers on financial documents.
- You discover a sudden or unexplained change to your loved one’s beneficiaries on their life insurance policies.
What should I do if my loved one is suffering from financial exploitation?
If you detect any indication of financial exploitation occurring, there is no question that you must report it as immediately as possible. Namely, you must report the incident to the following sources:
- Contact the individual who manages your loved one’s bank or financial accounts; they can freeze your loved one’s accounts and take other necessary actions.
- Contact an accountant; they can take necessary actions to recover your loved one’s finances.
- Contact your local police department; they can take necessary actions if your loved one’s case involves fraud.
- Contact the California Adult Protective Services; they can take necessary actions to protect your loved one from their abuser (i.e., a residential care facility, a caregiver, a family member, etc).
We understand just how devastating and frustrating this situation may be for you and your loved one. This is why our teams of competent California elder abuse lawyers want to help you get through it. So, whenever you are ready, pick up the phone and call Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP. We are looking forward to it.