Proving neglect or abuse against an elder is not always an easy task. However, if you suspect there is something happening, then you should do everything possible to report it and get the person help.

The Georgia Department of Human Services explains the state defines elder abuse as including financial exploitation.

Financial exploitation

When an elder is undergoing financial abuse, he or she may not be aware of what is happening. You may also not realize what is going on at first. That is why you need to be clear on the definition of financial abuse.

It can include situations where someone else is using undue influence on the individual to get access to finances. It may involve false representation where the person is forging the individual’s signature on financial documents. Abuse also includes getting a power of attorney for the purpose of accessing and using the individual’s money and accounts for personal gain.

You may notice that bills are not paid on time or at all, there is missing money or assets or unusual bank activity. These signs can indicate something is wrong.

Reporting

Once you have a feeling that there could be abuse occurring, you need to report it to the proper authorities who can then investigate the situation. How you report depends on where the elderly individually lives.

If he or she is in a nursing home, then you will first need to make a report to the administration at the facility. Then, you can call the Healthcare Facility Regulation or contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

If the person is not in a nursing home, then you should contact the Division of Aging Services’ Adult Protective Services.