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What is financial abuse?
What is financial abuse?
Written by Hannah May
Updated over a week ago

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse includes theft or misuse of someone’s money by trusted individuals. This includes the following activities:

  • Committing fraud, getting money by lying about why it is needed, forging checks, cashing someone else’s checks without permission, using someone’s ATM card without permission, forcing someone to change his or her will, forcing someone to transfer property, keeping someone away from his or her own home or money, providing healthcare services to a patient that are not really needed.

What are some signs of financial abuse?

  • Can’t pay their bills for housing, food, basic clothing or medications even if they seem like they have enough money to do so, get credit card bills for stores they have never been to, seem anxious about their money, talk about having to give money to others, have a family member who complains constantly about how much the patient’s care is costing, have family members who appear suddenly and claim they have a right to the patient’s money.

What can you do about financial abuse?

  • Watch your patients carefully for signs of financial abuse. Report any suspicions to your supervisor.

  • Never take money from a patient—even if it’s offered as a gift. It may be seen by others as financial abuse.

  • Avoid buying food and other necessities for your patients. It’s easy to grow close to your patients and come to think of them as your family. You might see that they need help buying groceries and you want to help them. Please remember that the best way you can help them is to tell your supervisor about the patient’s financial problems. There may be community services that can help the patient on a permanent basis. Otherwise, what happens to the patient when you’re not there to help anymore?

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