Many of the clients who visit us here at Futterman, Sirotkin, and Seinfeld following cases of elder abuse share the same story: they paid close attention to their loved ones’ conditions following their admissions to New York nursing homes, yet never noticed any physical signs of abuse. What they didn’t know is that the abuse caretakers were perpetuating against their family members or friends wasn’t to their bodies, but their bank accounts.
Information collected by MetLife and shared CNN Money shows that 2010, nearly $2.9 billion was stolen from Americans age 60 or older. Much of this money was taken by those who worked as caretakers at the nursing homes and care centers where these people resided. Oftentimes, elderly residents will come to trust these caretakers implicitly. This makes them easy targets to those looking to exploit them, with abusers talking victims into giving them access to their bank accounts and credit cards, or in some cases, even giving them power of attorney.
People with family members or friends in nursing homes should keep close track of that person’s financial records and bank statements for unusual activity such as:
- Unexplained large withdrawals or transfers to unfamiliar accounts
- Multiple checks written to unknown parties or institutions
- Decreases in benefit deposits
- Restrictions on their access to their loved one’s information
If and when these warning signs appear, one should immediately discuss the matter with his or her elderly loved one and/or the nursing home administrator. If necessary, law enforcement officials may also need to be contacted.
For information on when cases of elder financial abuse may require the assistance of New York nursing home abuse lawyers, visit our Nursing Home Negligence page.