Housekeeper Found Guilty of Financial Elder Abuse
We often hear of many unfortunate cases of financial abuse of elders, taken at the hands of their caretakers. Oftentimes, the older residents in nursing facilities will form friendly relationships with the staff, only to be taken advantage of in the long run. Unfortunately, this is a situation that financial elder abuse lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP see too often.
Recently, in Wichita, Kansas, a housekeeper was found to have been financially abusing one of her older clients. According to local news reports, she has since been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution after stealing from her elderly patron over a two-year time span.
According to documents, the man who hired the housekeeper said he made her his durable power of attorney so that she could help him with going to the bank as well as other appointments whenever necessary. This plan unfortunately backfired when he realized she had made several unauthorized purchases in his name.
Sedgwick County Chief Assistant District Attorney Robert Short reveals that situations like this are all too common for the elderly. “We have had cases in the past where an elderly person forms a business relationship with someone such as a housekeeper or landscaper and then they form a friendship…eventually, sometimes you see that person getting involved with their estate plan, access to their accounts, and having access to their money.” Unfortunately for many unsuspecting victims, occurrences of cases like these are also on the rise.
“We find out about those when bills are not getting paid and the nursing home is not getting paid,” Short said. “We go back, we do an audit and we find the missing money.”
The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General are both constantly working to strengthen laws related to the mistreatment of the elderly. Short said educating the public to keep an eye out for neighbors and check in on how elderly relatives are doing on their finances can help before a crime ever occurs. He also advises to never give out your personal financial information or social security number to anyone and to always remember to utilize referrals for services.
Financial Elder Abuse Lawyers
Due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, more and more people are entrusting nursing homes and caretakers with the safekeeping of family members and loved ones. Many of these facilities provide quality care and are excellent places to provide all the resources needed for a high quality of life and medical care. Unfortunately, all too often, the elderly and disabled do not receive the kind of quality care and attention they need and deserve. If you feel that you or a loved one were victimized via financial abuse while in the care of a nursing home or caretaker, contact the financial elder abuse lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP online or call us for a free consultation.