What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in loss or harm to an older person. It is further categorised into physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse.
What is elder financial abuse?
Financial abuse is most commonly seen here at Estate Battles. It is the improper or illegal use of an older person’s funds, property or resources. We believe it’s important to protect seniors against exploitation and abuse.
Examples of financial elder abuse:
- Acquaintances of older people suddenly becoming very close who through fraud or threats excludes other members of the family and hijacks the finances of the older person.
- Attorneys under a Power of Attorney documents misusing the older person’s money or assets for their own benefit.
- A carer of an older person who assists in the finances of the older person utilising credit cards and other resources of the older person for their own personal use and enjoyment.
- Assets being given away by the older person to one child for reasons which the older person does not really grasp or is duped into believing is appropriate in the circumstances (when it is not).
How to protect the elderly from financial abuse:
- Maintain open communication with the older person
- Take any concerns seriously
- Watch for changes in older person’s appearance or mood
- Recognise signs of financial abuse, such as unpaid bills or missing money
- The biggest risk factor for financial abuse is cognitive impairment in the older person. Ensure that the correct legal protections are in place
What if I suspect elder financial abuse is happening?
Seek legal advice immediately. The sooner you seek help the easier it is to remedy the situation. Once assets are sold or spent, it is unlikely that they can be restored. If you suspect that a loved one is experiencing financial abuse, please contact us for a free, 10-minute phone consultation.