Senior financial abuse in Hollywood and across South Florida is a serious concern. Financial abuse can include seniors being forced to sign over their assets or can involve simple theft. Any time that the elderly are targeted for the financial gain of their caregiver or someone else, they are the victims of financial abuse.
In many instances, financial abuse occurs because caregivers or others around the senior see an elderly person as a vulnerable adult they can target in order to earn a profit. In many cases, financial abuse leaves significant long-term effects. A senior who has been affected by this type of crime may feel helpless, ashamed, and frightened. They may be left with few financial resources to pay for everyday expenses and for long-term care. Unfortunately, catching signs of financial abuse are difficult and prosecuting someone after the money has been spent can be challenging.
Recognize the Symptoms of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse leaves no physical bruises or scars, but it does leave clues. You may notice financial abuse because you recognize the following signs:
- A senior suddenly does not have enough money for food, clothing, or other purchases
- loss of weight, poor hygiene, older clothes and other issues arising from someone not having enough money to spend on these items
- Unexplained secretiveness about money
- Sudden decrease in the amount of spare money for discretionary purchases
- Sudden concern about purchases
- Sudden signing over of assets or signing over of financial power of attorney to someone else
If you notice these signs or if something seems off about a family member’s financial situation, it is time to seek help.
What to do if You Suspect Financial Abuse
If you suspect a senior is being taken advantage of financially, a visit to a doctor may be in order. An doctor can help test for dementia or other conditions which may make an elderly person vulnerable. Having a trusted family member or attorney involved in an estate plan which includes a financial power of attorney can also be helpful, especially if an elderly loved one is having difficulty making sound financial decisions. Having family check up on the finances of an elderly loved one can also be very useful.
It is also important to consult with a senior abuse attorney in Hollywood or your community. A Hollywood senior abuse attorney may have investigators and other professionals in their network to track assets and money that have been signed over. Legal professionals also understand the legal options possible in this situation.
If you suspect someone has targeted an elderly loved one financially, contact Flaxman Law Group to discuss options. You may be able to help your elderly family member recover financially from abuse while pursuing the perpetrators in a claim.