Liability for Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Many people don’t realize how often seniors face financial exploitation, including theft and fraud. According to the National Council on Aging, financial abuse costs seniors in the United States about $36.5 billion each year — and they believe this type of abuse is vastly underreported.

There are many ways financial exploitation affects a senior’s quality of life. In some cases, it may even prevent a senior from receiving the medical care they need, and could lead to further health problems. Cordisco & Saile LLC helps victims and their families identify the liable parties and hold them accountable for damages. Call 215-642-2335 to discuss your case and what to do next.

What constitutes financial abuse of the elderly?

Financial abuse of the elderly is a type of senior or nursing home abuse that includes financial exploitation, fraud, theft, and any other improper use or acquisition of a senior’s assets. Some examples include:

  • Forging signatures to write or cash checks
  • Using debit or credit cards without permission
  • Stealing cash or other assets
  • Coercing a senior into signing financial or legal documents for financial gain
  • Charging for unnecessary services, especially in a long-term care facility

Financial abuse is one of the most common types of abuse reported by seniors. However, family members often identify and report this abuse when elderly family members suffer from dementia or other health problems that prevent them from identifying financial exploitation.

Signs of financial abuse of the elderly that family members may notice include:

  • Unexplained changes in financial accounts
  • Large, unexpected withdrawals
  • Unauthorized use of debit or credit cards
  • Unexpected changes in wills or other legal documents
  • Forged signatures
  • Unpaid bills
  • Unnecessary access to accounts or cash by a caregiver
  • Paying for unnecessary or nonexistent services
  • Complaints or suspicions of abuse by the senior

Who is liable for financial abuse?

In some cases, a friend or family member targets a senior for financial abuse. When this happens, the individual is liable for the damages. In other cases, however, the abuser is a hired caregiver who provides services on behalf of a nursing home or other caregiver service, such as an in-home care company, assisted living facility, or adult daycare.

If the abusive caregiver is employed by a company, that company may be vicariously liable for the victim’s damages. This means that the nursing home, home health company, or daycare facility may be responsible for your loved one’s damages. If successful, we may be able to recover compensation that covers your loved one’s financial losses and other damages.

How can I report financial abuse of the elderly?

If you suspect financial abuse, discuss it with your loved one and report it to their bank or other relevant financial institution. You can also call your local police non-emergency line or report it to adult protective services in your area.

If you live in Pennsylvania, you can make a report by calling the Protective Services Hotline at 1-800-490-8505. In New Jersey, call your local Adult Protective Services office to file a report. If you are in Mercer County, call the Mercer County Board of Social Services at 609-989-4320.

Contacting a lawyer who is well-versed in this type of abuse can also help you protect your loved one’s rights and get compensation for damages.

Call Cordisco & Saile LLC to File an Elderly Financial Abuse Claim

If your loved one was the victim of financial exploitation in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, Cordisco & Saile LLC call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney. We will investigate the case, contact the appropriate parties, and gather evidence that helps us prove the defendant’s liability for your damages, whether it be an individual or nursing facility.