While many of us were raised with the idea that our seniors are to be treated with respect, there are specific individuals out there who take advantage of the elderly for their own financial gain. This is referred to as elderly financial abuse and is a significant issue.
However, what many individuals don’t realize is that this issue goes far beyond just taking money from the elderly. There is a type of elderly financial abuse called power of attorney abuse and it’s important for loved ones to recognize what it is and the signs to protect their loved ones.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
As individuals get older, their ability to make decisions of their own can be skewed in the midst of their physical and mental health declining. When this happens, they may choose a power of attorney who is responsible for making important decisions on their behalf.
It’s important for the power of attorney to be someone who cares about the best interests of the elderly individual. When trust is taken advantage of, the elderly is susceptible to elderly financial abuse at the hands of someone who was supposed to care for the senior.
How Does Power of Attorney Abuse Happen?
Because the elderly is often placed in a nursing home, they have people around them expected to provide them with the utmost care. However, there are some situations when unscrupulous employees recognize a resident declining in mental health.
They may use this to coerce the elderly to sign over power of attorney. This gives that employee access to make financial decisions on the elderly’s behalf. The end result? Strange purchases made by the employee, money transfers, and more.
For any family member who may recognize that there is a change in your loved one’s bank account, documents, or checks, it’s important to understand what power of attorney abuse is. You should pay close attention to your loved one’s finances and if they’ve been tampered with, you should speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer about what rights you may have.
At Brown & Barron, we take the steps to identify what type of abuse occurred and work with you to protect the rights of your elderly loved one. Those who break the trust of a nursing home and a resident should be held fully accountable and we’re here to help.
Call our firm today at (410) 698-1717 to discuss your rights and options moving forward.