What can I do to reduce the risk of financial abuse when my parent is in a nursing home?

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financial elder abuseNursing home residents are at risk of financial abuse. Whether your parent is moving to a nursing home for the first time or already resides in a nursing home, we encourage you to be aware of all forms of nursing home abuse and neglect so that you can protect your parent, if possible.

What Is Financial Abuse?

Nursing home staff members, other nursing home residents, and scammers from outside the nursing home may try to take advantage of your loved one. They may try to steal money directly, use undue influence to get your parent to make gifts, revise their estate plan, or steal your parent’s identity to conduct fraudulent transactions. Specific forms of financial abuse include:

  • Stealing money, jewelry, expensive medical devices, or other valuable items
  • Forcing or coercing your parent to make financial transactions for the benefit of others
  • Using undue influence to convince your parent to change their power of attorney, will, or trust
  • Opening new accounts in your parent’s name
  • Forging your parent’s signature

You may not know that financial abuse occurred until it has already happened. However, the sooner you realize that your loved one was taken advantage of, the sooner you can help your loved one recover.

Warning Signs of Financial Abuse

Some red flags that may indicate financial abuse include:

  • Addition of nursing home staff or others as authorized users on credit cards or bank accounts
  • Missing credit cards or bank cards
  • Changes to wills, trusts, or other estate planning documents that are inconsistent with your parent’s intent
  • Significant withdrawals or purchases that don’t make sense
  • Missing valuables, including cash and jewelry
  • Unexpected unpaid bills
  • Your loved one having no memory of financial transactions you ask them about

If you notice one or more of these things, you may need to talk to your parent and a nursing home abuse lawyer.

What to Discuss With Your Elderly Parent

You and your loved one are not responsible for someone else committing financial abuse. However, you can try to avoid the stress and monetary consequences of financial abuse by talking to your parent about:

  • Adding their phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry
  • Consulting a trusted relative or financial advisor if they are notified that they won a prize, bonus, refund, or investment offer
  • The dangers of being pressured by others to make large purchases or investments
  • Refusing to sign any documents they haven’t read or don’t understand completely
  • Never writing down personal information (such as their bank account number or social security number)
  • Refusing to give out any personal information over the phone unless they placed the call and can confirm the person with whom they are speaking
  • Shredding bank statements, receipts, and financial records before throwing them away
  • Not allowing a nursing home staff member, volunteer, or resident to perform a financial transaction on their behalf
  • Consulting with a trusted relative or financial advisor if anyone asks them to do anything out of the ordinary

Let Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Help If Abuse Occurs

Sometimes, nursing home financial abuse occurs despite your best efforts to prevent it. It is not your fault, and you can still protect your parent by speaking with a Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer.

We believe that every nursing home resident has the right to live free of financial, psychological, and physical abuse, neglect, and injury. If your loved one was hurt by any form of nursing home abuse or neglect, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Our Kentucky nursing home abuse law firm has helped hundreds of families after their loved ones have been hurt or killed by nursing home abuse or neglect. Call us, start a live chat with us, or complete our contact form to have us contact you to discuss what happened to your parent and how we may help your mother or father now.

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