Financial exploitation of the elderly is abuse

Aging loved ones sometimes need specialized care that only a nursing home or similar facility can provide. Many caregivers and facilities offer safe, nurturing environments for elderly people, but unfortunately not all do.

Families who are considering care for their loved one should be aware of a specific type of elder abuse that may go unnoticed.

How is elder abuse viewed in Missouri?

In Missouri, financial exploitation of an elderly person is against the law and it is considered elder abuse. It can happen in several ways and depending on the value of the property involved, it may be a felony.

Financial abuse can occur when someone takes control of an elderly person’s property or finances by deceit or coercion. Deceit means that the person makes a misrepresentation or false statement to gain control. Coercion may include threats or force against an elderly person.

It may also happen if someone sells or transfers the elderly person’s properly without his or her knowledge or permission. In some circumstances, this type of abuse occurs when a person takes advantage of an elderly person’s state of mind to financially influence him or her.

It may occur gradually or in some situations, the elderly person may suffer a sudden financial loss.

Reporting elder abuse and next steps

Anyone concerned that a person is a victim of elder abuse can report it to an adult protective services agency, to law enforcement or to a care or abuse ombudsman who can make a report.

Elder abuse of any type is unacceptable and it can leave the victim’s family with more questions than answers about how to address it. An experienced attorney can offer guidance about next steps to protect their loved one’s interests.