While health concerns increase with age, so does the risk of other threats to senior safety. According to financial experts, approximately 70% of the nation’s wealth is controlled by the 50+ population. Therefore, fraudsters are implementing new techniques to take advantage of these individuals. This financial exploitation is known as elder financial abuse. Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common, costing victims approximately $2.9 billion last year alone.
The professional care service providers at Caring Healthcare have a passion for caring for those who need assistance. We have been providing a variety of in-home care services since 1995. We offer 2 to 24-hour care, 7 days a week. When hiring caregivers, we are very choosy- we only select those that we would trust with our own loved ones.
In this article, we’ll explain more about the financial exploitation of seniors and what you can do to prevent it.
What is Financial Exploitation of Seniors?
Financial exploitation of seniors is a crime that denies senior adults of their financial resources and their independence. If you notice signs of theft, fraud, misuse of money/property, or undue influence on an elderly person, you should be on alert. Seniors with disabilities or who depend on others to help are especially at risk of being taken advantage of and advances in technology make it difficult for seniors to know who they can trust.
Tips for Seniors & Their Loved Ones
If you are a senior citizen, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, including:
- Talk to a financial planner to plan for the future
- Shred all financial documentation before throwing it away
- Choose someone you can trust to act as your agent in financial matters
- Keep sensitive information locked up when others will be in your home
- Order your credit report once a year to ensure that it is accurate
- Never give out personal information over the phone unless you made the call, and you know you can trust the person
- Never pay a fee to collect “winnings”
- Don’t rush into financial decisions
- Don’t sign documents that you do not understand without speaking with an attorney or financial advisor
- Build a relationship with those who handle your finances and keep an eye on your account for any discrepancies/suspicious activity
- Never hire anyone without checking references and credentials
- Pay with credit cards/checks when possible so you have a paper trail
- Don’t feel bad for saying “NO”- it’s your money
- If you think someone is trying to take advantage of you or gain control of your finances, call for help. Talk to your banker or call Adult Protective Services
- Trust your gut- if something doesn’t seem right, it may not be
Financial exploitation of seniors is becoming increasingly common. However, there are things that can be done to prevent it. Keep the above tips in mind to protect yourself or your aging loved one.
Caregivers with Caring Healthcare are ready to provide quality and trusted care for your senior loved one. We have been providing in-home care services since 1995. We take the time to carefully vet our caregivers, ensuring our patients receive quality and safe services. Let us care for your family member’s health so you can better focus on protecting them from other, non-health related risks.