Identifying Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation
hOw CAN THE ELDERLY BE ABUSED AND EXPLOITED?
Approximately one in ten individuals over the age of 60 has experienced elder abuse. As the population ages, the instances of financial abuse are on the rise. This abuse is generally perpetrated by scam artists or trusted people in their lives who simply take advantage of them.
Reported instances of elder abuse commonly allege financial exploitation, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect. Typically, the victims are elderly individuals who can no longer care for themselves. Those who have recently suffered a trauma, such as the loss of a spouse, are especially susceptible. Elder abuse is further complicated by the fact that the victim may be suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other impairment that renders them incapable of identifying that they are a victim of abuse.
The major risk factors which make one highly susceptible to abuse are dementia, isolation from family and friends, and physical ailments which make the individual heavily reliant upon others for the test of day-to-day life. Abuse can take many forms including physical, emotional or financial abuse.
The signs of physical abuse include:
- Unexplained cuts or bruises;
- Broken bones; and
- Injuries that happen repeatedly.
Some signs that your loved one is suffering from emotional abuse include:
- Acting withdrawn or frightened;
- Unexplainable changes in behavior;
- Depression or confusion;
- A loss of interest in things that previously interested them; and
- Trouble sleeping.
The most common type of elder abuse is financial explication. The signs of financial abuse are as follows:
- Withdrawals from bank accounts which your loved one cannot explain;
- A new “friend” who is spending a lot of time with your loved one;
- Your loved one repeatedly spending money on their new “friend”;
- Missing financial statements; and
- Bills being left unpaid.
If you believe that your elderly loved one is the victim of abuse, you should contact a qualified elder law attorney immediately to discuss your options. In addition, if you suspect mistreatment you should call the Illinois Elder Abuse Hotline.
Call Chicago’s Elder Care Law Specialists
If you suspect financial exploitation, your loved one has legal rights and remedies available to them. The elder law attorneys at Chicago law firm of Hays Firm LLC are available to discuss your loved one’s rights and the potential need for a guardianship. If you are concerned that your elderly loved one is the victim of abuse we would be happy to discuss your options with you.