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Why do some seniors remain silent about financial abuse?

The financial exploitation of senior citizens is unfortunately a very real crime that many elderly people fall victim to. While some seniors are eager to seek help to get out of their situation, others do not speak up even when they know they are being abused. Even if your elderly relative is housed at a New Mexico nursing home, it is possible for your loved one to remain silent about a financial abuser for a number of reasons.

According to Aging Care, one reason seniors might not blow the whistle on a friend, a relative or a caregiver stealing their money is because they fear losing control over their finances. Many seniors want to retain as much of their independence as they can. However, they also know that they may have to give up control over their finances to a child or grandchild to put a stop to the abuse.

Another reason is that a relative may be engaging in the abuse. In spite of knowing that the abuser is a close family member, the abuse victim refuses to reveal what is going on for fear that it would cause a serious rift in the family. Many seniors want to avoid conflict among their descendants and relatives. Unfortunately, the price for averting conflict could be financial ruin and destitution for the abuse victim.

If you suspect a parent or elder relative is being financially abused, approaching the subject requires some delicacy. Some children can be open with their parents, but other families do not enjoy robust communication. It may be necessary to assure a parent that you have the parent's best interests at heart and you want to maintain the parent’s quality of life and independence. If communicating with a senior relative remains difficult, you could ask a friend or professional who dealt with a similar situation for advice.

Ultimately, no senior citizen deserves to be the victim of financial exploitation. If you find your relative is being abused, there are steps you can take to help secure their rights. Since financial abuse occurs in different ways, do not consider this article as actionable legal advice. It is only intended to provide general information on this topic.

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