Financial Abuse of Senior Citizens in Washington

There are a number of forms of elder abuse, ranging from physical and sexual abuse to emotional abuse and fraud. One all-too-common type of elder abuse is financial abuse. If you suspect that a nursing home professional or other caregiver is financially abusing your elderly loved one, you need to speak with an attorney in Washington State today.

What is financial abuse of a senior?

Unfortunately, sometimes people will attempt to take advantage of a senior citizen when it comes to money. Types of financial abuse vary greatly but include the following actions, as named by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

  • Taking an elderly person’s money or property.
  • Forging the signature of an elderly person.
  • Using an elderly person’s property without permission.
  • Engaging in scams or fraud that affect an elderly person’s finances.
  • Making promises contingent on financial compensation and then not adhering to the deal.
  • Using coercion to get an elderly person to make a financial decision (open a new credit card, transfer money, write a check, sign a will, etc.).

When any of the above occurs, the elderly person is a victim of elder financial abuse, and action needs to be taken to remedy the situation.

How to Recognize Financial Abuse

Anyone can be guilty of committing financial abuse of a senior citizen, including family members, caretakers, neighbors, friends, attorneys or nursing home employees. Recognizing the signs of financial abuse of an elderly person may be hard at first, but they usually include:

  • living conditions below assumed financial resources
  • depression
  • new bank accounts or credit cards
  • changes to important documents (like a will)
  • missing personal items
  • a home title transfer
  • taking out loans
  • unpaid bills
  • regular financial gifts to a caregiver
  • shame or withdrawal from friends or family

The Effects of Financial Abuse on a Senior Citizen 

Financial abuse can have a devastating effect on a senior citizen’s life. The National Adult Protective Services Organization states that financial exploitation of an elderly person can lead to:

  • loss of trust
  • depression
  • fear
  • shame
  • guilt
  • self-doubt
  • remorse
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • inability to afford health care needs
  • losing property or housing
  • the inability to hire an attorney to seek justice or compensation

Often, financial abuse can spiral out of control quickly, so it’s important that you take action if you suspect that abuse is occurring.

What should I do if financial abuse is occurring?

If you suspect that financial abuse of your elderly loved one is occurring, you should investigate the abuse. To help you do this, seek the assistance of an attorney. An attorney can help decide whether criminal action is occurring and what legal remedies are available. If the abuse is being committed by a healthcare professional, such as a caregiver or a nursing home staff member, an attorney can be critical in filing a personal injury suit against the individual or organization for damages.

Speak with a Washington State Personal Injury and Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Now

Elderly abuse is one of the most appalling actions in which a healthcare provider can engage. If your elderly loved one is the victim of financial exploitation and abuse committed by a nursing home or nursing home staff, he or she has the right to legal action. At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, we’ll help you investigate the financial abuse, gather evidence and file your claim for damages now.

Financial abuse of seniors is unacceptable. If your elderly loved one is a victim of financial abuse, let our attorneys help you today. You can get started now by calling us at 360-459-5600.