Financial Abuse of Elders at Florida Nursing Homes
The physical abuse of nursing home residents may show itself in bruises, bedsores and uncontrolled infections. However, financial abuse of elders at Florida nursing homes is much less obvious.
Financial abuse includes the material or financial exploitation of nursing home residents. It is defined as the improper or illegal use of another person’s assets, funds or property. Our Jacksonville lawyers can help you make a claim against a nursing home for financial or physical abuse.
Nursing home residents are more vulnerable to financial abuse than the rest of the population. They are often infirm and may not be fully aware of what’s going on around them. They depend on nursing home staff. Financial abuse of elders at Florida nursing homes happens more often than many people think. If you suspect a family member is a victim, you should alert the authorities and contact an experienced Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyer.How Financial Abuse of Seniors at Florida Nursing Homes Occurs
There are many different types of financial abuse and exploitation of nursing home residents. They include:
- Stealing or misusing a resident’s money or possessions.
- Cashing a resident’s checks without permission.
- Deceiving or forcing a resident to sign a legal document like a will.
- Forging a resident’s signature.
- Improper and unauthorized use of guardianship, conservatorship, or power of attorney.
Financial abuse alone costs older Americans over $2.6 billion dollars every year, according to a study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse in 2009.
Research suggest older people with cognitive incapacities suffer 100 percent greater economic losses than those without such incapacities, the study stated.
New technology may lead to a significant increase in financial abuse of elders.Who is Committing Financial Abuse of Nursing Home Residents?
Financial abuse can be committed by anyone with control or contact over a nursing home resident. Typically, financial abuse is committed by someone who residents trust, who has a close relationship with them as opposed to strangers.
Family members, colleagues and close friends of the resident may commit financial abuse. Often this is seen when someone is granted power of attorney to control finances or resources of the nursing home resident.Telltale Signs of Financial Abuse of Elders at Florida Nursing Homes
It’s not always easy to know if an elderly resident is being defrauded or financially abused.
Families, caregivers and friends should look out for suspicious and unusual activity that might indicate financial abuse.
Examples include large and unexplained withdrawals from a resident’s account, unexplained checks, and the disappearance of personal items. Other telltale signs include:
- Sudden changes in banking or missing funds;
- A deterioration in the resident’s living conditions;
- Missing personal belongings;
- New names on the resident’s bank account;
- The forging of a senior’s signature for titles or financial transactions.
For an elderly resident, financial abuse can be as emotionally crippling as physical abuse. If your loved one was a victim of financial abuse, you should seek legal help and representation. At the Lawrence Law Group, our Jacksonville nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers will look at a potential claim and explain your legal options. We help victims of nursing home abuse in Brevard, Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Baker, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Dixie, Lafayette, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Leon Counties. To find out more about you and your family member’s rights and options, call us at 904-632-0077 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a Jacksonville-based nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.