Elder abuse is a growing occurrence as people live longer. Unfortunately, much of the abuse is caused for financial gain. Many have used methods predictable enough that the State enacted laws telling the court what to look for. Here's what you should look for when protecting an elder:
It is apparent to note the influencer's apparent authority, evidence of which may include status as a fiduciary, family member, care provider, healthcare professional, legal professional, spiritual advisor, expert, or other qualification.
The elder's vulnerability may include evidence of incapacity, illness, disability, injury, age, education, impaired cognitive function, emotional distress, isolation or dependency, and whether the influencer knew or should have known of the alleged victim's vulnerability. This may be especially important to note when a person claims to 'care for' or 'have the best interest' of the abused elder.
Pay attention and document the influencer's conduct; evidence which may include:
(a) controlling necessaries life, medication, the victim's interactions and whom they interact with, access to information, or sleep;
(b) use of affection, intimidation, or coercion;
(c) initiation of changes in personal or property rights, use of haste or secrecy in effecting those changes, effecting changes at inappropriate times and places, and claims of expertise in effecting changes.
The end result is evidence of which may include negative economic consequences to the victim, divergence from the victim's prior intent or course of conduct or dealing, the relationship of the value conveyed to the value of any services received, and/or the appropriateness of the change in light of the length and nature of the relationship.
If someone is abusing an elder report it to the police and/or adult protective services.