Elder Financial Abuse
Elder financial abuse is an increasingly pervasive problem. AARP reports that senior Americans lose approximately $2.6 billion each year to elder financial abuse. Similar to physical elder abuse, elder financial abuse is often committed by a caregiver, family member or trusted friends.
What is Elder Financial Abuse?
Elder financial abuse is a form of elder abuse. Elder financial abuse occurs any time some one the senior person loves or trusts takes advantage of the relationship for economic gain. Elder financial abuse takes many forms, from simple theft to falsifying documents to gain control over a victim’s assets.
Who Commits Elder Financial Abuse?
AARP reports that a family member commits 55% of all elder financial abuse. Oftentimes children feel as though they have a right to their parents’ assets because they know they will benefit from the eventual inheritance. Children experiencing financial troubles may guilt or shame parents into giving them money. In most extreme cases children steal by taking items or cash from their patents.
Similarly, caretakers engage in financial elder abuse. Oftentimes caretakers are responsible for purchasing the elder person’s critical necessities, such as food and medication. However,the caregiver may not purchase items or purchase fewer items than needed. In the most extreme cases, the caregiver gains access to the senior’s financial accounts and directly withdraws funds.
Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
Oftentimes, victims are isolated; feel embarrassed or fearful about their circumstances. Or, in cases of dementia, the elder American is not aware of the abuse. It is possible a senior American is being subjected to elder financial abuse if they suddenly:
- Forget to pay bills;
- Forget to buy food;
- Forget to buy medication;
- Lose personal property; or
- Withdraw from family and other social events.
Florida Law Protects the Elderly from Abuse
The Florida lawmakers created Adult Protective Services Law to discourage and prosecute those who commit elder financial abuse. For elderly who have fallen victim to financial elder abuse, a lawsuit can provide remedy. The victim may be able to recover money or assets that were taken. Additionally, victims may also be able to recover attorney’s fee or punitive damages.
Contact an Attorney
No elder American should endure abuse from the people entrusted to provide critical needs and care. If you suspect a caregiver, family member or scammer is abusing a senior, then you should contact the Miami elder abuse lawyers at our firm. Our elder abuse attorneys can guide you through the process of filing an elder abuse complaint and help you seek recovery. Contact Alan Goldfarb, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with our office by calling (305)-371-3111.