We’ve heard a lot of stories about vulnerable adults falling prey to con artists, family members, fiduciaries, and professional advisers who steal their nest eggs and threaten their financial security.

A son steals $ 315,000 from his elderly mother’s retirement accounts and frequents casinos. When he doesn’t pay his mother’s rent, she’s evicted from her assisted living facility.

The pastor of a 77-year-old man with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases makes 130 withdrawals from the man’s bank account but fails to make nursing home payments on his behalf for nine months. The man was nearly discharged from his nursing home.

These stories are all too common. We’d like to equip assisted living and nursing facility staff with the know-how to prevent and spot the warning signs of abuse, so we’re releasing a guide to protecting residents from financial exploitation.

Our action-oriented guide gives staff the tools to:

  • Prevent financial exploitation and scams by educating staff, residents, and family members about warning signs and precautions
  • Recognize, record, and report financial abuse as early as possible using a model protocol and a team approach
  • Get help from first responders in the community

What you can do

If your family member or friend lives in an assisted living or a nursing facility, share this manual with the administrator and professional staff. You may want to read it as well to learn some of the signs of financial exploitation and where to go for help.

Some signs of abuse

Here are some warning signs that a long-term care resident is being financially exploited or abused:

  • Possessions disappear from a resident’s room or apartment
  • Resident pressured to make a decision or sign a document “now”
  • A previously uninvolved person claims authority to manage a resident’s care and/or finances but does not provide documentation
  • Unpaid facility bills
  • Resident’s checkbook or check register shows checks made out to “cash” frequently or check numbers out of sequence
  • Frequent or costly gifts to facility staff or volunteers

Order your free single or bulk copies of the guide to protecting residents from financial exploitation.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau