Thieves targeting elderly in nursing homes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Thieves targeting elderly in nursing homes

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Attorney General Jim Hood says the cases of financial exploitation of the elderly is on the rise. Age doesn't matter to criminals. Elderly can make easy targets without the right safeguards in place.

"It's still our duty, once we place our loved one in a nursing facility or personal care home or someone else's care, even in their own home, it's our duty to try to check their financial records," said Attorney General Jim Hood.

Hood says before a person gets to the point where they can no longer handle their own finances, the family should plan ahead.

"Have them draw up a power of attorney for someone who is trusted. Normally it should be, if you can, two people that have to sign checks and take care of the financial affairs of an elderly person," explained Hood.

Attorney John Shows says he's seen more financial exploitation cases in recent years.

"It's a growing problem for two reasons. One, the culture in which we're living in. there are people who want to take advantage of us. But the bigger problem or the fact is that there are many more vulnerable adults today," Shows described.

IT'S a two way street in protecting the patients. The facility can keep an eye out for warning signs.

"Many of those in management don't want people in their businesses stealing from their patients. So we go inside those facilities and do training," said Attorney General Hood.

Families can also make sure their loved ones aren't easy targets.

"Somebody that's in a nursing home, you just don't want to take valuables so there so they're in a drawer or someplace where anybody can walk in there at night and take things out. Two, you don't want to bring valuable documents there," advised Shows.

Attorney General Hood says they're usually tipped off to cases when family members notice discrepancies in their bank statements.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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