Elder financial abuse targets older adults as victims of a scam. When a parent is in long-term care such as a nursing home, no one is there to defend them against scams. The federal consumer financial protection bureau’s guide prevents elder financial abuse with long-term care patients. The guide shows long-term care workers how to see red flags and develop policies in Texas and throughout the United States.
Elder financial abuse statistics
In 2020, there were over 62,000 suspicious activity reports involving elder financial exploitation. Reports by financial institutions saw over $3.4 billion of exploration violating elder law. About 40% of caregivers say the person they help has been a victim of financial fraud. The victims and caregivers say there’s about $60,000 of loss on average.
Financial mistakes, identity theft and fraud may occur in assisted-living facilities. Some bad apples on staff can inflate or double the bill as well as steal identities.
The best thing an individual can do is listen to their elderly loved ones. An example is a woman who complained that her money was missing in an assisted-living facility. The staff dismissed the claims because she had other cognitive challenges. After a year, they caught a guardian stealing money from her.
Resources to keep parents safe from fraud
The Thinking Ahead Roadmap website outlines steps for families to choose a trusted financial advisor. There are online monitoring services to identify suspicious behavior across various financial accounts. Careful monitors credit card and banking accounts for signs of fraud. The service will alert the person or circle of friends about any suspicious activity. EverSafe sends alerts to a circle of friends and outside financial professionals.
Members of an elder’s care team can get access to financial and medical records, so facilities must set up guardrails to prevent elder financial abuse. Families can also help prevent their loved ones from being taken advantage of.