The state of Arizona has been attracting many senior citizens as of lately as many are looking for a warmer and more serene environment to live in. In 2017, the Maricopa County alone added 74,000 people to its growing population. That averages out to be approximately 200 people each day, so you can only imagine how many individuals have come to live in other counties across the state. Fox 10pointed out that among all the people that have chosen to relocate to the state of AZ, many of them are seniors.
And while AZ allows many of these seniors the chance to “escape brutal winters” and “enjoy the picturesque beauty” it offers, it is also a prime target for elder scams and financial abuse, says the news source. Financial exploitation is only one form of elder abuse but it is a serious one that is often hard to spot. But, the source also highlighted that nearly 1.5 million seniors are victims of the multi-billion-dollar crime. And with Arizona attracting more and more seniors, it makes the state a “prime target” for financial abuse to occur.
Paul Greenwood, who is an elder abuse expert, says that “children and parents have to be on the lookout, especially in states like Arizona” for signs of elder abuse and exploitation.
Who are the perpetrators that often commit financial exploitation?
Sometimes, it is an “opportunist stranger” that sees a wealthy elderly individual who is limited in their cognitive and/or physical abilities and uses this to their advantage. It can be a nursing home staff member or even someone responsible for managing the nursing home resident’s estate.
There are other times where it isn’t a stranger who financially exploits an elderly individual, rather, it is a family member. Greenwood says that sometimes, “a family member wanting access to money” will put “their loved one in a nursing home they may not belong in.” One caregiver told the source that she’s seen cases of that before and “calls it imprisonment for some patients.” She said that “if you see what dementia does to people and their families, you don’t put someone in a lockdown facility who doesn’t require it, that’s a travesty.”
Sadly, “Arizona’s Adult Protective Services received more than 13,000 reports of elder abuse last fiscal year.” Just under 50% of those alleged cases involved family remembers. And in an effort to help prevent more cases from occurring, below are a few things for you to consider if you have a loved one living in a nursing home in Pima, AZ.
- If you have a relative residing in a nursing home facility, yet you and your other family members live
far away from them, it is best that you make every effort to come and visit so that you can check on their wellbeing. Sometimes, when staff at these facilities learn that no one is around to check in, they see it as an open opportunity to take advantage of the wealth this resident brings with them.
- If your loved one struggles from a mental condition or is limited in their physical mobility, it is best that their close family is present when a contract is signed to ensure they aren’t being taken advantage of.
Now, if you are the relative of someone living in a nursing home and you have noticed questionable behavior displayed by another relative who is responsible for managing their finances, you may want to look into whether they are using money that doesn’t exactly belong to them. AARP states that questionable behavior might include a sudden change in lifestyle, the person quits their job, or they purchased a vehicle that is well beyond their budget.
And if you suspect that your aging relative is the victim of financial abuse, contact USAttorneys.com a let us help you find a Pima, AZ nursing home abuse lawyer who can help determine if your loved one is being financially exploited.