Most people who provide care to the elderly go above and beyond to ensure the person is safe and secure. However, some individuals do not have the best interests of seniors in mind. These situations can occur in nursing homes or within families.
According to AARP, isolated seniors with fewer personal ties are often at risk of financial elder abuse. That is why you must know how to identify common signs to take the proper actions to protect your loved one.
How to identify exploitation
Financial exploitation can involve access to bank accounts and credit cards, or it can involve theft. As a result, you may notice that personal belongings are suddenly missing from the person’s home or room. This usually includes valuable items, such as jewelry or antiques. The senior may also experience an influx of unpaid bills, even though they believe they were paying them as needed.
How to identify isolation
Because isolation is often a key component of financial exploitation, it is important to keep your loved one socially engaged. Abusers often take steps to prevent the senior from reaching out to caring individuals. This can entail removing phones and other communication devices. If the person requires an assistive device to get around, the abuser might restrict access to it.
Emotional effects of financial abuse
Being taken advantage of financially can also take an emotional and psychological toll, especially when abuse involves family. As a result, a senior may appear depressed or anxious most of the time. They may no longer express interest in things they loved. They can also appear afraid when speaking about the abuser.
If you notice the above signs, the first step is to secure your loved one’s safety. This may require reporting the incident to the authorities to ensure the abuser receives the suitable punishment.