According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s older population has grown at an unprecedented rate. As of 2016, 8.5 percent of the world’s population was age 65 and older and according to the report, “An Aging World: 2015,” the elderly population is projected to reach nearly 17 percent by 2050.
What does all this mean? It means that the elderly population is exploding and when American families are unable to provide the proper level of care for their aging loved ones, they will have to place them in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The problem is, our seniors are some of our most vulnerable, and with factors like advanced age, Alzheimer’s and dementia, they are targets for abuse.
Abuse Comes in Different Forms
Like children, nursing home residents are vulnerable to neglect and abuse. Abuse however, takes on various forms. It can mean physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and even financial exploitation. The latter, financial exploitation, is especially common when the elderly person has dementia or another form of cognitive impairment.
Examples of financial exploitation in the nursing home setting:
- The resident’s cash or jewelry goes missing.
- The caregiver pays their bills or makes purchases with the resident’s checking account.
- The caregiver withdraws money from the resident’s ATM for personal use.
- The caregiver convinces the resident to include him or her in their will or trust.
- The caregiver convinces the resident to transfer valuable assets or property to them.
- The caregiver uses the resident’s credit cards to make personal purchases for goods, services, or travel.
- The caregiver uses the resident’s Social Security number, driver license number, name, or other personal information for identity theft or check fraud.
Elderly individuals are prime targets for unscrupulous caregivers for two main reasons: 1) they can establish trust with the elderly person, and 2) the elderly individual can be “forgetful” due to dementia and this increases vulnerability and access. Also, if the elderly victim does not have close family, they can be a target because they have “no one to tell” or they think the nursing home administrators will never believe them.
Related: What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Do you believe that your loved one has been a victim of financial exploitation or another form of nursing home abuse? If so, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to speak with a Plano nursing home abuse lawyer about filing a lawsuit.