Caring for our loved ones not only comes with caring for their physical needs, but, also their financial needs. Being knowledgeable about what elder financial abuse looks like, will keep their finances protected as well.
Elder financial abuse spans a broad spectrum of conduct, including:
- Taking money or property
- Forging an older person's signature
- Getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence
- Using the older person's property or possessions without permission
- Promising lifelong care in exchange for money or property and not following through on the promise
Understanding who is at risk and why can help you protect your loved ones. When your aging loved one feels isolated or lonely, they may be more inclined to talk to the ‘sales’ person on the phone, and give away important information to those that use telemarketing scams as their way of hacking into accounts.
When the elderly person loses their spouse, the amount of mail that comes can lead them to filling out un-necessary documents that comes from a scammer, and thereby opening themselves up to elder financial abuse.
If your aging loved one suffers at all from physical or mental disabilities, they are susceptible to being preyed upon by handymen, auto repair, or any service-related industry. Even a senior in complete control of their physical and mental faculties can easily be taken advantage of in the same situations.
Unpaid bills, eviction notices, or notices to discontinue utilities, withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts that the older person cannot explain or bank statements and canceled checks no longer coming to the elder's home, all can be indicators of abuse. Of course, the above examples can also have plausible explanations, so it’s important to look for patterns or clusters of indicators that suggest a problem.
At Lifefone, your loved ones’ physical safety is our primary concern. At LifeFone, we provide top-notch medical alert protection but we also want to make sure you are informed about other ways that their safety, and in this case, their financial safety is also of importance to us.