The existence of any one or more of these signs does not necessarily mean that abuse has occurred. Instead, treat them as notice that diligent attention or investigation is needed:
Uncombed or matted hair;
Poor skin condition or hygiene;
Unkempt or dirty;
Patches of hair missing or bleeding scalp;
Any untreated medical condition;
Malnourished or dehydrated;
Torn or bloody clothing or undergarments;
Scratches, blisters, lacerations or pinch marks;
Unexplained bruises or welts;
Burns caused by scalding water, cigarettes or ropes;
Injuries that are incompatible with explanations;
Any injuries that reflect an outline of an object, for example, a belt, cord or hand.
Behavioral Warning Signs:
Confused or extremely forgetful
Helpless or angry
Hesitant to talk freely
Isolation warning signs:
Many abusers isolate their elderly victims by psychological manipulation. Over time, the elder is eventually driven to distrust friends, doctors and even close family members. Ultimately, the elder becomes a pawn – manipulated into trusting only the abuser. Here are some signs:
Family members or caregivers have isolated the elder, restricting contact with others, including family, visitors, doctors, clergy or friends.
Elder is not given the opportunity to speak freely or have contact with others without the caregiver being present
Other warning signs include:
Unusual bank account activity, such as withdrawals from automatic teller machines when the individual cannot get to the bank.
Signatures on checks and other documents that do not resemble the elder’s signature.
Checks or other documents signed when the elder cannot write or understand what he or she is signing.
Lack of personal amenities – appropriate clothing and grooming items.
Numerous unpaid bills when someone else has been designated to pay the bills.
Change in spending patterns, such as buying items he or she doesn’t need and can’t use.
The appearance of a stranger who begins a new close relationship and offers to manage the elder’s finances and assets.
While financial elder abuse can take many forms, the most widespread abuses from non-family members include telemarketing fraud, identity theft, predatory lending and home improvement and estate planning scams. If you suspect financial elder abuse, contact us right away. We will take immediate action to make it stop. Call (714) 963-7543 or submit a written question on our contact us page.