Elderly Financial Abuse in South Carolina
Elders handled by caregivers may be vulnerable to the unauthorized use of their money, credit cards or real estate.
In addition to neglect and abuse, South Carolina’s Office of Aging recognizes a third risk that aging adults are exposed to: exploitation. The two most prevalent forms of elderly exploitation is financial abuse and medical fraud. If you or a loved one have been a victim of Nursing Home Abuse.
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In Elderly Financial Abuse, aging adults are taken advantage of by caregivers (related or unrelated). This can occur by home health care workers or at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Financial Exploitation of the Elderly includes:
theft and credit card fraud,
using real estate for personal means, and
conning nursing home residents into purchasing a fraudulent service or product.
Financial exploitation might not endanger an older person’s health or safety, but it results in the loss of the person’s estate and self-esteem.
Elderly Financial Abuse Legally Defined
Many states define exploitation as the wrongful use of an older person’s resources for another person’s profit or advantage. State laws use various terms to denote the wrongful nature of the act, such as “illegal,” “improper,” “unjust,” and “without legal entitlement.” Some definitions refer simply to the misuse of the person’s funds, property or person. Some states specify that, to qualify as exploitation, the resources must have been obtained without the older person’s consent, or obtained through undue influence, duress, deception or false pretenses.
One type of exploitation is a breach of a fiduciary relationship, such as a guardianship or power of attorney, in which the older person’s property is misappropriated or resources are misused. A plaintiff who seeks to prove financial exploitation may need to rely on a different set of experts than those relied upon in matters of abuse and neglect. Rather than physicians and nurses, his or her attorney may retain accountants and computer experts to show the loss of resources and explain the transactions at issue.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of exploitation by your nursing home or patient care facility such as Elderly Financial Abuse, contact us today. Come in for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers to discuss your situation and hear how we can help.