July 29, 2014
Fraud Alert: Nursing Home Residents
An estimated 5 million older Americans are victimized by financial and related abuse every year, and people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be especially vulnerable.
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says identifying financial exploitation is complicated by the fact that those perpetrating the fraud are often individuals the senior believes he or she can trust. Often, they are relatives or friends managing the financial affairs of a senior living in a care facility.
CFPB recently posted a manual online here to help combat fraud in institutional settings. Even when an elderly person is cognitively impaired, the CFPB recommends that family, friends, and nursing home and assisted living staff pay close attention when the older person does one of the following:
• complains that someone is misusing or stealing their money.
• reports that checkbooks, credit cards, or papers are missing.
• is agitated before or after a visit or an outing with a friend or relative.
• becomes secretive and hides possessions or hoards papers.