Nursing Home Abuse - Financial Exploitation

While the elderly are often targets of various types of financial exploitation, residents in facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living communities are particularly vulnerable.

Elderly individuals who reside in a facility are vulnerable to financial exploitation in many cases due to their dependence on others to read their mail, help with their bank statements, and other tasks. For example, failing eyesight might make this assistance necessary, thereby exposing the resident's financial information to untrustworthy individuals.

There are three basic categories of potential financial exploitation that threaten elderly individuals:

1. Scams. The most common types of scams target the elderly to donate money to non-existent charities or invest in bogus 'money-making' schemes. It is important to educate elderly family members about the need for caution if they are contacted about either of these types of solicitations.

2. Banking and credit card accounts. The two basic types of financial exploitation in this category are theft of funds and identity theft. Access to bank account information, check books and debit cards can lead to unlawful withdrawal of funds at the bank or through unauthorized purchases. Access to other personal information, such as an elder person's social security number, can result in identity theft - a lingering and potential ruinous abuse.

3. Healthcare fraud. This involves charges submitted to Medicare/Medicaid or other insurance claims for services that were never performed or unnecessary. This financial abuse can be linked to physical abuse if the resident is harmed by the lack of care or procedures that were not needed.

If you have concerns about these or any issues related to elder abuse at a nursing home, contact our attorneys today.

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