Renowned film and television star Mickey Rooney, 90, recently testified this week about his experience with elder abuse before the Senate Aging Committee. According to the Associated Press, the committee is currently considering legislation that will help reduce and limit abuse against senior citizens.
Senator Herb Kohl, who chairs the special Senate group, said the elderly are common targets for abuse because they are "often fragile" and vulnerable, leaving their abusers with a small chance of getting caught. When Rooney had discovered that a family member had stolen and misused his money, he told lawmakers that he "felt trapped, scared, used and frustrated."
"But above all, when a man feels helpless, it's terrible," said the actor.
Rooney did not reveal the name of the family member he claimed abused him. However, the Associated Press reported a judge in Los Angeles had issued a restraining order keeping his stepson Chris Aber away from him until a court hearing on April 5. In court filings, Rooney accused his stepson of interfering with his finances and withholding food and medicine from him.
Mickey Rooney also explained to Congress that elder abuse can come in various forms, such as physical and emotional, and described the abuse in his case as financial.
Elder abuse is rarely an obvious situation to recognize, according to FindLaw. When it comes to financial elder abuse, New Yorkers should keep an eye out for possible signs that might indicate you or a loved one is being abused. Here are a few conditions or occurrences could lead to financial abuse:
- Inappropriate or unusual banking;
- Signatures on checks or other financial documents besides your relative's, especially when he or she is unable to write;
- A sudden refusal to pay bills or make financial decisions unless another person is consulted; and
- Numerous unpaid bills or rent and lost valuables.
To learn about the legal actions you can take to protect you and a loved one from elder abuse, find an attorney who can explain your legal rights and options when it comes to protecting your finances, property, funds, and assets.