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Residents with Alzheimer’s are vulnerable to financial abuse

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease presents numerous challenges, both emotionally and practically. This is one of the reasons why many families who have elderly loved ones with this drastic cognitive decline illness choose to enroll them in nursing homes. Unfortunately, due to their cognitive impairments, residents with Alzheimer’s are at a great risk of financial exploitation even in such facilities.

Nursing home staff or fellow residents can take advantage of a resident’s judgment and memory to rob them of their financial reserves. Therefore, families who have elderly loved ones with Alzheimer’s in care facilities should remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their loved ones’ financial well-being.

What are the risks?

When someone gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, family members can anticipate their cognitive abilities to deteriorate gradually. This can make it challenging for the individual to make sound financial choices or recognize fraudulent schemes.

This vulnerability can be significantly compounded in nursing home settings where residents are isolated from family oversight. Fellow residents or even distant, estranged relatives who are aware of the resident’s condition can target them in the form of:

  • Unauthorized withdrawals
  • Misuse of credit cards
  • Coercion into changing wills or estate plans

By the time the family realizes that something is amiss, it might be too late. The realization that they’ve been taken advantage of and they can’t even remember the incidents can have emotional and psychological impact on the victim.

The emotional and psychological toll of Alzheimer’s on families can be profound. Unfortunately, seeking some relief by enrolling a loved one in a nursing home may also introduce the burden of a financial exploitation risk. However, by staying vigilant and proactive, families can significantly reduce the risk to their loved ones.

With that said, families that already have evidence of financial exploitation can benefit from learning more about how the laws apply to their vulnerable loved one’s unique situation.