Financial abuse of elderly can be harder to spot
With a little vigilance and a practiced eye, it’s not hard to spot the signs that an elderly person has been physically abused. Mysterious wounds, burns and bruises, dehydration, soiled clothing or bedding can all be spotted.
But just as dangerous, and sometimes harder to spot, is financial exploitation.
For state officials, caregivers and patients, abuse of the elderly is top of mind. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Sunday.
Part of the problem with elder abuse is that it sometimes requires victims to turn in a loved one.
“A lot of cases are not reported,” said Rhonda Godbey, benefits specialist with the West Central Nebraska Area Agency on Aging in North Platte. “They don’t want to get their family in trouble.”
For the abuser, a victim can be easy pickings.
“I don’t know if it is that different (from physical abuse), but the elderly many times are very vulnerable and many times they’re in someone else’s care,” said WCNAAA Director Linda Foreman. “Many times, they’re vulnerable because they’re a fragile individual and someone else is taking care of them, or someone else is in charge of their finances.”
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