It is important to look for signs of elder abuse, but to do that you need to know what to look out for.
A recent column in the Washington Post discusses the problem of financial exploitation of the elderly and how big of a problem it is in the U.S. It did so in the context of a situation that could be elder abuse or it could not be. The context is interesting because it is a sign of possible elder abuse.
The column is titled "Could caregiving be just a means to the money?"
A woman wrote the newspaper to ask about her sister who was taking care of their elderly father. The sister was reportedly nasty and secretive to the other siblings. Those are potential signs of elder abuse.
It is a red flag that elder abuse could be occurring if someone who is not normally kind and caring offers to be the caregiver of an elderly person. It does not mean abuse is definitely going on. It could be that the person genuinely does care about the elderly person.
It is also a red flag whenever the caregiver of an elderly person is secretive about how the finances are being handled. If the family members are asking nicely and not being rude, then the caregiver should be willing to discuss the finances with them.
There are many other warning signs of potential elder abuse. A caregiver who is not normally kind to others and one who is secretive about the elderly person's finances are two of the bigger signs. If you have seen similar signs, then investigate further to make sure nothing inappropriate is occurring.
Better yet, contact a qualified elder law attorney to assist.
Reference: Washington Post (May 19, 2016) "Could caregiving be just a means to the money?"