Financial Elder Abuse Goes Beyond Bank Accounts
The Reach of Financial Elder Abuse.
Seniors are not the only victims when financial elder abuse strikes. A recent look at the epidemic of elder abuse indicates that the more we study the painful truth of financial elder abuse, the more we learn that the victims go way beyond the targeted elder. In fact, caregiving families, loved ones, and friends suffer too, on a large scale. The figures are alarming and reveal the dire toll of this sad reality on so many. The issues are challenging and the stakes are high; open and honest discussions among seniors, loved ones and professionals is a must.
Families and Caregivers Suffer Too
A full 40 percent of active caregivers report that the senior they are working for has experienced some form of financial abuse or exploitation. And quite often, more than once. The average loss from financial elder abuse to the victimized senior has risen over the past two years to $36,000. More often than not, the full impact may fall on the senior’s caregiver. This is a direct result of the loved one or other volunteer caregiver having to compensate for the senior’s loss. Caregiving is a difficult responsibility in the best of cases, and the added financial burden only increases the strain. Studies show that the cost to caregivers taking care of a financial abuse victim are 56% higher than would otherwise be the case. The anxiety induced is even more staggering.
Financial elder abuse is a complex, multilayered problem. But a few simple steps may safeguard your senior. First, plan ahead; make sure the senior’s assets are protected from unwanted hands. Consult with a professional before signing anything. Do background checks on professionals and build solid relationships with those who pass the test. Limit the use of cash; it has a way of disappearing without a trace. Do not give caregivers access to the elder’s finances or allow them power of attorney for the senior’s financial issues. Ever. Stay involved with your senior loved one and listen to him or her. Trust your instincts. Remain fully engaged. Know when to say no. Avoid isolation of your loved one, an isolated senior is easy prey to wrongdoers.
If you or a loved one has experienced financial elder abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm financial elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with elder abuse, complex financial contracts, and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.