Woman allegedly steals nearly $85,000 from man with Alzheimer's

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Laurie Nowlin of Wichita is accused of stealing nearly $85,000 from an 88-year-old man He's retired Navy veteran who was suffering from Alzheimer's. He died in September, 2019. 

The District Attorney's office can't speak on this case specifically, but they hope people can watch out for signs of abuse. "It could be the neighbors, it could be the friends, it could be the nursing home, it could be a variety of people who realize something's gone awry," says Avery Elofsson, Senior Assistant District Attorney. 

Court documents say the elderly man signed over his home and all of his assets to Nowlin. Investigators say she was using the money to take elaborate trips. Her Facebook page shows she took vacations to the Grand Canyon, the Rockies and Sedona, Arizona. 

Elofsson says there are laws that protect the elderly and disabled, "if you're over the age of 60, you have additional protections. Some of those protections are that there's additional penalties, if you violate the law in that context." 

He says his office works hard on  preventing elderly abuse, "myself and other assistant district attorneys, we go out and we engage in public outreach. We want to educate our community, basically on understanding elder abuse."

Brie Kerschen, a registered nurse, says dementia patients become at risk very quickly, "it is absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating. I think the nature of the people who do this pray specifically on our vulnerable population." 

She advises families to be an advocate for their loved ones and watch out for those early signs of confusion. "Stay present in their life and be involved and alert when there are new people entering their lives. It's important to trust your gut and if you feel like something is off, it's worth exploring." 
 

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