In nursing homes, physical and emotional abuse are not the only threats that elderly people face. Another common, yet oftentimes overlooked, form of abuse that nursing home residents are victim of is financial abuse. Financial abuse occurs when your loved one is taken advantage of financially. A few common examples include having money stolen out of their bank account or having their identity stolen by a staff member. Consider the following 10 signs of financial abuse to protect your loved ones from this crime.
1. Addition Of A Name To A Signature Card
A sudden addition of a name to a signature card, specifically the name of a nursing home staff member, should be a red flag. There is no reason for this to occur, and especially not without the permission of the family.
2. Changes To A Will Or Another Financial Document
Sudden additions or subtractions to a Will or a trust might be suspicious. You should talk to your loved one about these decisions to determine his or her motive.
3. Changes In Financial Condition
If you notice that your loved one’s finances have changed drastically, you should consider the cause for these changes. It is possible that someone else is fraudulently using your loved one’s accounts.
4. Large Withdrawals From Accounts
Any large withdrawal from a bank account is suspicious. If your loved one does not have direct access to his or her finances, such an action might be even more suspicious. It is possible that someone – particularly a nursing home employee – got access to your loved one’s bank account and is withdrawing money fraudulently.
5. Missing Cash Or Possessions
Financial crime can occur on a much smaller scale in nursing homes. A nursing home employee – whether that be a nurse, a janitor, or a doctor – could steal money or valuable possessions from your loved one’s room. This is another form of financial crime that you should watch out for.
6. Misuse Of Personal Account By Nursing Home
You might give the nursing home access to one of your loved one’s accounts. However, this does not give the home the right to use this account to its benefit. So, make sure that such an account is only used in the best interest of your loved one.
7. Phony Account Activity
Phony account activity warrants action by you and your family.
Your loved one might be the victim of many different types of financial scams. Be sure to talk to your loved one frequently about his or her finances to make sure that these are not occurring.
9. Unnecessary Subscriptions To Goods And Services
Financial abuse might not only be the fault of nursing home employees. Make sure that health insurance companies another medical companies are not scamming your loved one by making them pay for unnecessary goods and services.
10. Unpaid Bills
If you have designated an account to the nursing home in order to pay bills, they need to follow through with this task. Make sure that this is being done.