It is not uncommon for New Mexico families to send their elderly loved ones to nursing or group homes for the medical care and ongoing support they need. Unfortunately, while many of these facilities provide outstanding care, families today have to worry about nursing home abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Though there are symptoms of all three of which you should be aware should you decide to send a loved one to a nursing home, Money Crashers details a few ways nursing home staff take advantage of elderly individuals' finances.
One way caretakers steal money from elderly individuals is through coercion via neglect and violence. If your loved one is severely disabled, the people you entrust with his or her care may withhold basic care or food until your loved one turns over his or her assets. These same individuals may also flat-out steal your elderly loved one's property, buy it for far below market value or "borrow" it without any intention to ever return it.
Abusers may also attempt to persuade your loved one to invest his or her funds into a high-risk investment or business deal. Though there is nothing wrong with your loved one investing his or her money in legitimate business ventures, many schemes fraudsters propose are harmful to elderly persons' financial wellbeing.
Some thieves take more bold tactics and try to obtain credit or take out loans under an elderly charge's name. Others attempt to receive medical care using an elderly person's name.
Real estate fraud is also a common way in which fraudsters steal from elderly individuals. Though methods vary, real estate fraud tends to include convincing an older individual to take out a second mortgage at a high rate, signing over the deed to his or her home or filing a phony deed with the county recorder's office.
If as financial abuser has patience, he or she may encourage an elderly person to name him or her as an heir on a life insurance policy.
This article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as legal advice.