Few responsibilities are more important than providing your elderly loved ones with the same care and attention they gave to you. When they need 24-hour care, your only option may be to find a long-term residential facility that can fully meet their medical needs. However, you need to keep a close eye on the physical, emotional and financial aspects of your loved one’s care.
Vigilance and observations by family members can help detect signs of physical and emotional elder abuse, as described by Helpguide.org, a charitable organization dedicated to providing families with information they need to make healthy choices. But signs of financial exploitation may not be as apparent — until your loved ones lose all of their financial resources. Family members need to take a proactive approach to remain watchful by:
- Taking careful inventory of the valued possessions of your loved one so you can immediately spot missing items.
- Regularly monitoring all financial accounts online or through printed statements to watch for unexpected withdrawals or other questionable transactions.
- Watching for changes to the will and other beneficiary designations that might point to a caregiver who has obtained undue influence over your loved one.
- Taking any action necessary to shelter your loved one from contact by phone or mail encouraging them to make fraudulent investments or donate to phony charities.
To fully protect the elderly from financial abuse while in any form of residential care, at least one trusted individual needs financial power of attorney authorized by the principal — or through conservatorship or guardianship designated by the courts if the principal lacks the ability to make this important decision. Just as important, you need to seek help from an experienced nursing home abuse attorney at Stipe Law Firm at the first signs of any type of neglect or abuse.