Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Friday, March 31, 2017

No One Puts Granny in the Corner—or Steals Her Money

Q: What forms of abuse are elders vulnerable to?

Unfortunately, elder abuse is alive and rampant in California and throughout the country, with people seemingly everywhere ready to prey on unsuspecting, vulnerable seniors.

A recent San Francisco arrest sounds like something straight out of Dirty Dancing.

Fans of the iconic movie set in a fictional 1950s Catskills area summer resort may remember the Schumachers –a resort-hopping, serial-wallet-lifting couple who stole wallets from unsuspecting guests at Kellermans, the Sheldrake, and countless similar resorts from Florida to Arizona before being arrested.

Fast-forward to the real world in California today. Swap out the fictional Schumachers for a middle-aged woman and change the string of resorts to grocery stores throughout San Matteo County.  Add the final insult: the suspect’s alleged department and convenience store shopping sprees reportedly financed courtesy of the victims’ credit cards. And now you have the recent California headline news story about multiple elderly women reportedly being financially-victimized by a serial wallet thief.

Very often financial elder abuse presents itself as financial exploitation of a senior citizen at the hands of a trusted family member or friend. Abuse can also come from professional caregivers in hospital, nursing home, and/or at-home care settings who befriend then steal, or just steal. Financial elder abuse could be anything from a single or smaller incident to an ongoing elaborate scheme that bleeds the elderly person’s accounts completely dry. Often, significant losses have occurred before the theft is even noticed.

Elder abuse can also take the form of emotional or even sexual abuse--at the hands of anyone from strangers to family to caregivers. It can occur at home or at a care facility. Elders who are estranged from or no longer have family or friends who can check in on them often are at an even greater risk of elder abuse.

If you are a victim of elder abuse-- or you suspect a loved one may be a victim—the California elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge LLP can help you. Call us today at 408-389-6980 to request a consultation. Our trust and estate planning specialists have been serving the South Bay Area for over 23 years in all matters related to elder care and planning. Proper planning in advance may prevent or minimize your chance of becoming a victim of elder abuse.


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