Financial abuse is a serious crime. During times of crisis like what we are experiencing right now with the coronavirus, the negative effects are magnified much more severely. What would normally be a catastrophic event for an elderly individual can easily become a matter of life and death in current conditions.
But to really understand just how bad this is, we need to take a look at just what financial abuse entails beforehand.
Financial abuse occurs when someone is taken advantage of for their money. When it comes to the elderly, it can happen in a variety of ways. It might be a scam, where someone calls or sends a letter and is able to get the individual to send them money. This happens often unfortunately. And because the elderly are more likely to have issues with dementia or other cognitive difficulties than younger folks are, it’s often the elderly that fall for these scams.
But financial abuse can sometimes hit a lot closer to home. A lot of cases of this type of abuse happen within a family or someone who is close to the family. This can happen through exploiting how bills are paid, diverting Social Security funds, or even through stealing little bits of money here and there. There are a lot of other forms that this can happen, too.
Whatever shape it takes, it’s a serious crime. And it takes advantage of a person that doesn’t have the same ability to defend themselves that others might have.
When financial resources are depleted, the senior in need has a lesser ability to get the help that they need in as timely of a manner. Financial abuse can happen unknowingly, and the person can be restricted in the amount of help that they can get without even knowing it. It puts them in a precarious situation. Access to help, senior care, medical attention, and the resources needed around the house to make life easier are suddenly limited, and it’s often not discovered until it’s too late.
In a time like this, a lot of the shortcomings of our medical system have been brought to light. We’re seeing that those who are more affluent have access to better care, especially when it comes to prevention and detection. Cutting off someone’s financial lifeline does severe damage to long term health. Financial abuse isn’t just theft, it’s betrayal that could lead to declining health.
Be on the lookout for this. Make sure that the older people in your life are not falling victim to something like this. If you’re not sure what the warning signs of this type of abuse are, do some research. We have a number of articles here on this site about the topic.
And, as always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Our trained professionals can help answer your questions and point you toward the resources that you need for the best possible care for your family. We are all in this together. Your loved ones deserve the best, safest, most trustworthy care there is.