July 18, 2024

In a capitalist society, money has a scary hold over people and influences most of their decisions, which may hurt other people. The reality is that people need money to survive, and when people are focused on surviving, they may do anything to provide for themselves and their families. In elderly communities, sometimes, the people you trust the most also turn out to be using or exploiting you out of your financial resources, which is the cold, harsh reality of the world today. 

One very common example of this is the incidents of the elderly being taken advantage of by their caregivers. After a certain age, most elders require someone to look after them and perform some or most actions for them. Most elders at this stage of life, along with losing the physical capabilities to perform simple tasks, also lose their mental capacities or functioning. Hence, in several cases, the attorney of power of the elderly’s financial assets is transferred to the caregivers to use their financial assets to provide for their remaining life, everyday living expenses, medical expenses, etc. Unfortunately, at this stage, caregivers start exploiting their power of attorney duties, using the financial assets of the elderly for their gain. Suppose this situation sounds very uncaring and unrealistic to you. In that case, you will be quite surprised to know that this caregiving practice is highly common in the United States and even around the globe. 

Recently, an 88-year-old lady that lived next door to me was hospitalized. Upon observing her physical and mental condition, the doctors asked her son to shift her to his house, deeming her incapable of living alone. The hospital decided that since the son will have to bear additional financial charges of the elderly’s living and medical expenses, he should be handed the power of attorney of her financial assets. The son had control of all of her financial assets in no time, and the elderly moved in with him. Within a year, the elderly spoke to us and informed us how she would be transferring to a state-owned nursing home as, under the pretext of caring for her grandmother, the granddaughter had gotten a power of attorney transferred to her. Along with using it for her grandmother’s expenses, she also used huge sums on herself, due to which the grandmother was soon left with deficient financial assets, and the son refused to take care of her any longer as he said he could no longer afford to take care of his mother. 

“Observing how common the occurrence of such incidents has become, even in cases concerning non-blood relatives or family members where either manipulation or coercion loots the elderlies. Different states have established different laws and policies to fight this practice against the elderly or infirm, ” elderly law attorney Josh Nelson from Nelson Elder Care Law, LLC. Traditional laws like fraud or larceny can be charged against such looters, civil remedies are also available for the victims of such act, or the heirs or immediately affected family members of the victim, and some special police and prosecuting attorney organizations also have special investigation units solely for investigating and charging people who exploit the elderly like this. 

The legal route you can take:

If someone you know or are close to having been a victim of this, the best approach for you is to contact the police and an expert elderly law attorney immediately. Time is crucial in such cases, and the faster you take action, the higher chances the victim or the victim’s loved ones will have of saving the victim’s financial assets. Quick action will prevent more usage of the estate and even may help recover the looted amount from the perpetuators. Immediately getting the victim’s testimony is also highly important in cases where the individual is at risk of passing away soon.