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Pennsylvania Study Finds That Family Is Often Behind Financial Abuse of Seniors 

According to a 2020 study by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, financial exploitation is the second leading cause of elder abuse allegations after caregiver neglect. However, the report states that family members may be the ones who are most often behind financial abuse in older adults. The crime affects not only senior citizens’ bank accounts but also Pennsylvania taxpayers. When someone steals an older adult’s income, the seniors are more likely to need government assistance to meet basic living needs. 

Throughout 2017 and 2018, the report found 1,488 financial exploitation cases in Pennsylvania, with 42% of cases resulting from an adult child. Additionally, 15% of cases resulted from caregivers. Overall, older Pennsylvanians suffered from an estimated $56 million in reported cases. However, the number is likely higher because an individual may not report the abuse or be aware of it. 

It is not just family members who may financially take advantage of older adults. In-home and nursing home care providers also might take advantage of them. Recognizing the signs of financial abuse is critical to keeping your loved one safe from elder abuse. If you believe that a nursing home staff member is financially abusing your loved one, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Dalli & Marino

Why Are Older Adults More Likely to Be Victims of Financial Abuse? 

Older adults are at an increased risk for financial exploitation due to health conditions related to aging, the need for assistance for daily living activities, and their accumulated wealth. The study found that women are more susceptible to financial abuse since they live longer and are more likely to develop cognitive conditions. Adults who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes are also susceptible to financial abuse because they are isolated from their family members and may not constantly communicate. 

What Are the Signs of Financial Abuse in Older Adults?

Since financial abuse in older adults can take many forms, it may be difficult to recognize when it is taking place. Possible signs of elder financial abuse include: 

  • Checks that go to the perpetrator 
  • Missing belongings or property 
  • Large bank withdrawals or transfers
  • Unexplained bank withdrawals
  • Changes to their power of attorney 
  • Unpaid bills or eviction notices

There are also signs to watch that may help pinpoint the perpetrator. Knowing these signs can allow you to take action sooner. Often, an older adult will refer to someone as their new “best friend,” which should be a red flag. In addition, if your loved one has an in-home caregiver, they may be taking advantage of them financially if they charge too much for products or services the person needs. 

Where to Report Financial Abuse in Senior Citizens? 

Reporting possible cases of financial abuse is key to keeping your loved one safe. By reporting the case, police officers, nursing home management, and banks can become involved, investigate the case, and bring the offender to justice. You can report financial abuse to: 

  • Law enforcement: Working with police is essential if you want to hold the liable party accountable for their actions. Financial exploitation is a crime, and your loved one deserves justice. 
  • Management: One of the first parties you should report financial abuse to is the nursing home’s management. They may even already have their suspicions about the perpetrator. Managers may also fill in missing information about the situation. 
  • Financial institutions: Banks and credit unions may be able to help resolve any issues regarding discrepancies and see if someone is taking financial advantage of your loved one. 

After you report financial abuse, you should consider contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer. Navigating these cases is complex, but an experienced attorney can help. 

Skilled Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in New York Are Here to Help 

If you believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff members or nurses, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Dalli & Marino. Our nursing home abuse attorneys may be able to explain your legal options to help protect your loved one from suffering from further abuse or neglect. To schedule a free consultation, call (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today. 

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