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Elder abuse can be financial

Elder abuse is sometimes physical, and this is often what people think of first. Any type of abuse conjures up images of physical contact or violence. And, if you believe that this is happening, it is certainly important to know what steps to take to protect your elderly loved one.

But it’s also important to remember that abuse does not have to be physical. In some cases, elder abuse could be financial in nature. This can still be very damaging and you need to know what options you have.

Examples of financial abuse

Financial elder abuse is often a type of exploitation. It happens when someone uses that individual’s assets or money in an improper or even illegal way. This could be the direct theft of those assets, but it could also be something like misappropriation, misuse or fraud.

As with other types of abuse, one person may be in a position of power over the other. For instance, an elderly person may be limited in their ability to care for themselves. But their caretaker may lie to them, manipulate them, refuse to provide care services or deceive the elderly person in order to steal or misuse their financial assets. It could be as simple as a caregiver lying about how the money is going to be used – to pay bills or taxes, for instance – and then keeping that money for themselves. 

What evidence should you look for?

If you’re worried that this may be happening, look for any unexpected red flags. For instance, maybe there are unexplained transfers out of the elderly person’s bank account or maybe certain bills go unpaid when the funds should have been available. If you do see evidence of financial exploitation or abuse, then you’ll need to know what legal steps you can take moving forward.