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Financial Abuse of Elders May Be on the Rise During COVID-19

Many nursing homes put their facilities on lockdown when COVID-19 became a credible threat to the United States in March 2020, prohibiting family members from visiting their loved ones. Unfortunately, this made nursing home residents more vulnerable to neglect and abuse from the people who are supposed to be caring for them. What’s more troubling is that financial abuse may also be on the rise in nursing homes during the pandemic. Understanding the signs of financial abuse and what to do if you suspect it is vital to keeping your loved one safe. 

If you believe that your loved one in a nursing home is the victim of financial abuse, contact Dalli & Marino, LLP. Our attorneys know what evidence to look for and can help you build a strong case while you focus on caring for your loved one. 

What Is Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes? 

Financial abuse in a nursing home is when a caregiver or other patient takes money or personal belongings from another. According to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), it may include actions, such as taking valuables from their room, forging checks, taking their retirement income, or using their bank accounts. Older adults are more likely to be taken advantage of and coerced into making changes to wills or bank accounts. 

Financial theft may also include long-lasting consequences, such as changing the names on bank accounts, wills, or life insurance policies. Unfortunately, the combination of stress from the pandemic and insolation from family members may muddle a person’s decision making-ability when someone asks for money.  

Signs of Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes 

Financial abuse is a widespread problem that can be difficult to detect. However, there are some signs that your loved one is experiencing this abuse. One prevalent sign is that they do not recall financial matters. It is even more troubling if they were usually aware of these matters in the past. For example, it may cause concern if you see they have a withdrawal slip from the bank, but they do not recall taking money out. Other signs of financial abuse in nursing homes include: 

  • Unusual changes in spending behavior 
  • Loans that a loved one cannot explain 
  • Fear or anxiety when someone brings up finances
  • Personal belongings that disappear 
  • Asking for money 
  • Giving financial control to someone else without warning 

It is important to note that there will likely be multiple signs of financial abuse. If you notice more than one sign, consider contacting a New York nursing home abuse attorney. 

How to Protect a Loved One from Financial Abuse 

One of the best ways to protect your loved one from financial abuse in a nursing home is to monitor their bank accounts and credit cards. Doing this will help you notice an unexpected financial move, allowing you to address it with them immediately. Similarly, you can also ask their bank to monitor for any unusual activity. Furthermore, visiting your loved ones will develop a strong relationship that might make them more inclined to be open about financial abuse.

What to Do If My Loved One Is the Victim of Financial Abuse? 

The first thing you should do after suspecting a loved one of a financial abuse victim is talking to them. They may not be aware of the problem. Conversely, they may give you a rational response to their financial situation. It is crucial to have all the facts before proceeding. Next, talk to the administrators or managers of the nursing home. They might have their suspicions and could potentially uncover the financial abuser. Finally, contact a nursing home abuse attorney. They can launch a thorough investigation into the matter. 

Bring Your Case to a Skilled New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney 

If you believe that your elderly loved one is the victim of physical, emotional, or financial abuse in a nursing home, contact Dalli & Marino, LLP. Our New York nursing home abuse attorneys have been aggressively advocating for nursing home abuse and neglect victims since 1996. We commit ourselves to create strong relationships with our clients. Our attorneys dedicate themselves to helping you recover the compensation you deserve from this traumatic experience. Give us a call at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today. 

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