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The Five Signs of Financial Abuse of Elders

It's important to investigate financial irregularities for our elderly loved ones, because it can be the first symptom of dementia or abuse

October is Residents Rights Month. At Brown & Barron, our mission is to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, especially our elderly neighbors in nursing homes in Baltimore and the rest of the Maryland/D.C. area, from the evils of nursing home abuse and neglect. There are times when families must put their trust in nursing homes to deliver necessary healthcare and meet the basic daily needs of their elderly family members. It’s our collective duty as a society to ensure they’re cared for in a way that ensures their safety, health, emotional wellness, and dignity.

During Residents Rights Month, Brown & Barron is running a series on the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. This week, the focus is on financial abuse.

How Do You Know If There’s Financial Abuse in a Nursing Home?

The nursing home is rarely anyone’s desired option to spend their golden years. For many of our loved ones, the choice of a nursing home in Maryland or D.C. is unavoidable, especially when their health needs are so severe that there is no other option. Unfortunately, in the current corporate healthcare system in America where the primary goal is profit, law firms like Brown & Barron are the only serious enforcers to ensure they provide quality care.

Brown & Barron specializes in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. As a result of this extensive expertise, we have seen far too many tragic situations of nursing home abuse and neglect in Maryland and Washington, D.C. We know how and why they happen, and how to get the truth and get justice. We want to put that experience to good use by helping our friends during Residents Rights Month to educate them on the various signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.

For a free legal consultation, call (410) 698-1717

What Makes Residents Susceptible to Abuse?

When our loved ones are admitted to a nursing home, we place an enormous amount of trust in relative strangers to care for them. These elderly loved ones are in perhaps the most vulnerable position in their lives. Many nursing home residents submit all their basic needs, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and bathroom breaks to the members of the nursing home staff. That is an intimate form of care, and it often forms a bond. The vast majority of nursing home care providers are delivering the most important service work we can imagine, and they provide this wonderful care for low pay under demanding work conditions. However, with this combination of risk factors, including this type of care relationship, the incompetence and greed of the nursing home industry, and the presence of various third-party strangers, there is a situation where it is all too easy for trust and dependence to be abused.

The Top 5 Signs of Financial Abuse

  1. Unpaid bills or unexpected changes to bank accounts

  2. Suspicious signatures or changes of names in documents

  3. Changes to the resident’s will or power of attorney

  4. Belongings or bank cards going missing

  5. Major transactions (e.g., the sale or withdrawal of assets) beyond the cognitive capacity of the loved one

Abuse that Goes Beyond the Financial

No form of abuse is acceptable when it involves the elderly loved ones in our nursing homes in our community of Maryland or the D.C. area or anywhere in the country. Financial abuse can be the first sign that something is wrong with your loved one in their old age. Some people enter nursing homes due to dementia, yet others begin to lose cognitive capabilities slowly while they are living in nursing homes. For some of us, financial irregularities are the first sign our parents are beginning to suffer cognitive decline, such as dementia.

It can also be the first sign that our loved ones are prey for abusers, whether from nursing home staff, fellow residents, or third parties, such as visitors or vendors who have access to the facility. A resident who is susceptible to financial abuse is likely vulnerable to more despicable and permanent forms of abuse than the loss of money.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Financial Abuse at a Nursing Home?

If you suspect financial abuse, you should trust those instincts and get a thorough investigation of the people that have abused your loved one. It could be that the financial abuse is just the tip of the iceberg.

For help navigating the nursing home corporate structure and getting serious attention to unacceptable matters and getting justice for nursing abuse or neglect, Brown & Barron can provide professional expertise and demonstrated results. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Brown & Barron online or call (410) 698-1717.