For many senior citizens and the chronically sick, moving from nursing-home to in-home care is a preferable option when available. After all, we'd much rather be in a familiar, comfortable environment than in what can seem an impersonal medical facility. For this reason the shift to in-home care is quite understandable. Sadly, however, the opportunities for elder abuse and neglect also multiply in a home setting, as a recent article in The Atlantic makes evident. This comes down to one pivotal reason: a systemic lack of oversight to ensure patient safety and caregiver responsibility.
When attorneys pursue an estate or trust case on behalf of their client, one of the key factors in the litigation process is discovery, whereby documents and other evidence are subject to exposure for their possible use in court. All kinds of records are useful - estate, medical, financial, and those of law enforcement.
Elder financial abuse cases go unnoticed far more often than they might ever reach the news, but the story of Geraldine Webber is proving an exception to that rule. Webber, who resided in Portsmouth, NH, and died at age 94 in late 2012, designated an unrelated police officer the main beneficiary of her $2.7 million estate.
When we picture incidents of abuse at elder care facilities, we usually imagine wrongdoing committed by negligent or malicious staff, no matter how proportionally few they might be. Yet a newly-released study carried out by Cornell University on elder abuse in nursing homes contains some surprising and disturbing conclusions about where most abuse actually comes from: fellow residents of the care facility.
A common but often unrecognized danger to senior citizens and their well-being is the pernicious phenomenon of elder financial abuse. Here at Hackard Law, we've observed such wrongdoing over years of managing estate litigation. Depositions over a contested will or trust can suddenly reveal new details pointing to the exploitation of a senior for financial gain by one of the parties in the case.
When investigating cases of financial elder abuse and taking them to court, we know that money is the abuser's primary motivator. With that in mind, all that's left is to establish just how the abuser was able to misappropriate an elder's funds. And needless to say, when money goes missing, it's a strong clue that wrongdoing is afoot.
A new program unveiled by AARP is making it easier for Americans to stay a step ahead of scams against senior citizens, otherwise known as elder financial abuse. This week the advocacy group has rolled out its interactive Fraud Watch Network as an effective upgrade in continuing efforts to stop financial elder abuse.
At least one in five senior citizens will suffer financial elder abuse - this from a study by the Investor Protection Trust, an advocacy group for victims of scams. In what is described as "the crime of the 21st century," financial elder abuse is a growing phenomenon due to the increase in our population of senior citizens.
If you have an ongoing case of potential elder abuse, the Probate Court can obtain an APS Report.