Financial abuse and exploitation of the elderly is a civil wrongdoing that can be penalized under tort law. If your senior citizen loved one, whether parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle, has become a recent victim of financial manipulation or abuse, it is important to speak with an experience elder abuse lawyer right away. Your family could be entitled to restitution, as well as additional compensation for any damages suffered as a result of the abuse. The same rights apply to cases of financial exploitation involving mentally handicapped, challenged, or disabled persons.
Continue reading to learn more about financial abuse and exploitation of the elderly, and how to get started on your Indiana nursing home abuse or elder abuse claim today.
Protecting Our Elders From Financial Abuse and Exploitation
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, financial abuse is among the most common types of abuse suffered by elderly citizens in our country. Even the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that an average of $2.9 billion are scammed out of senior citizens in the form of financial exploitation. It is estimated that by 2030, around 20% of the total U.S. population will be those aged 65 and older. So, as a fast-growing populace, this is a problem that will only worsen without more personal intervention.
For these reasons alone it is encouraged to keep a close eye on how your elderly loved ones are managing their money, whether they are living on their own, in a care or assisted living facility, or even in your own home. Online predators are out there, and they can manipulate and exploit your loved one’s finances under your own roof.
What is Elder Financial Abuse?
Well, the Federal Elder Justice Act, which was enacted in 2010, defines financial elder abuse as, “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act… that uses the resources of an elder for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an elder the rightful access to, or use of, benefits, resources, belongings, or assets.”
Predators typically target the elderly because they retain fuller assets in their late life, and many often suffer from mental incapacities, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Other elderly folk are simply lonely for companionship, which is a need that is taken advantage of by financial abusers and exploiters.
Types of Elder Financial Exploitation and Abuse
There are many ways such predators use and abuse senior citizens for their money and assets, the most common ones being identify theft, telemarketing scams, and con-artists. It is more common for such abuse to take place domestically rather than in a hospital or care center. The perpetrator in domestic cases of elder financial abuse is usually a family member or Power of Attorney guilty of stealing, transferring, or gaining access to money or assets.
Nursing home and senior care facility staff members are another common predator to watch out for, as there are many cases of employees manipulating elderly patients or residents into giving them money or adding them to their will as beneficiaries.
Common Signs of Senior Citizen Financial Abuse
Signs that suggest elder abuse can come from your elderly loved one or the person exploiting them. Here are the most common signs to look for:
▷ Having a new “best friend” or suspicious friend
▷ Sudden interest or concern over their finances
▷ Missing money or assets
▷ Giving gifts or personal items away
▷ Requests to amend their will or estate plan
▷ Disputing over future inheritance or trust funds
▷ Unexplained financial transactions
▷ Increased or unusual bank account activity
Seniors and elderly citizens are protected under Indiana law from such injustices. If your older adult loved one is a victim of financial abuse or exploitation, it is important to take action as soon as possible. You may contact the state or local Adult Protective Services agency, but your first call should be to a licensed Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who specializes in nursing home and elder abuse cases to learn your rights to pursing legal action against the perpetrator or establishment.
Are you looking for a seasoned personal injury law firm in Indiana to represent your claim? Contact Carl Brizzi LAW at 317-636-7497 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our skilled elder abuse lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although based out of Indy, we serve clients all throughout the state.
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