What You Need to Know About Elder Financial Abuse

Financial abuse of the elderly is a growing problem throughout the world. If you have an elderly friend or loved one, keeping watch over their finances and changes in behavior is the best way to protect the elderly from financial abuse. Whether the elderly person lives at home or in an assisted living facility in San Francisco, CA, there may be unscrupulous individuals trying to take advantage of their finances for personal gain. Here’s what you need to know about financial abuse of the elderly, and the signs you should look out for.

What is elder financial abuse?

Elder financial abuse is the mismanagement or theft of an elderly person’s money, investment, real estate or personal property. It happens frequently to the elderly because abusers see them as vulnerable and unlikely to retaliate or expose the abuse. No matter if a perpetrator acquires money or goods through coercion through neglect or violence or outright steals a person’s property, elder financial abuse can sometimes be hard to detect. Get to know more about who perpetrates the abuse and some of the common signs to look for to protect the elderly from financial abuse.

Who perpetrates financial abuse against elders?

It’s a sad but true fact that many people who perpetrate elder financial abuse actually have a very close relationship to their victim. They use trusting friendships to gain access to the victim’s assets. Some of the most common abusers include:

  • Family members
  • Caretakers
  • Neighbors
  • Professionals
  • Con artists

What are the signs of elder financial abuse?

If you suspect an elderly friend or loved one in San Francisco, CA is the victim of financial abuse, you need to fully investigate your concerns. Knowing about the common signs of financial abuse in the elderly is key to protecting your loved one’s assets. Here are the most common signs of elder financial abuse:

  • Money is missing from accounts: If you notice a large amount of money missing from the elder’s investment or bank accounts, you need to find out where the money went to determine if abuse has occurred.
  • There’s unusual use of credit cards: More frequent and unexplained credit card use is often a sign of financial abuse or financial difficulties taking place. Always be on the lookout for changes to the “authorized user” list for the elder’s credit card accounts.
  • Possessions are missing: Whenever you notice an elder’s possessions or personal items missing, be sure to ask where they went. If they have no clear answer, it could be a sign that abuse, in the form of theft, is taking place.
  • Sudden changes in the elder’s mood: Unusual sadness or anxiety can be a sign that abuse is taking place. If your elderly friend or loved one shows a marked change in personality, try to ascertain whether they’re experiencing financial concerns—they may very well be the victim of financial abuse.

It’s important to protect our elderly loved ones from unscrupulous individuals who can pose a danger to their finances. If you notice any of the signs listed above occurring to a friend or loved one in San Francisco, CA, it’s important to do your part to protect the elderly from financial abuse. Contact Medina & Company Consulting, Inc. to investigate troublesome incidents and get the problem resolved quickly.