The elderly can experience financial abuse from both relatives and complete strangers.
Look for certain types of behavior in your elderly loved one that indicates he or she could be vulnerable to financial exploitation.
Older people often struggle with health problems. Inasmuch as physical issues can require their ongoing attention, they might be targets for swindles. If you find that your older loved one is having difficulties bathing, dressing or eating it is likely that he or she is also having trouble managing finances.
Pay close attention if an older person becomes forgetful, has trouble balancing a checkbook or understanding a bank statement. Be on the lookout for new friends or relatives who suddenly appear in the life of your loved one along with any talk of “new investment opportunities.”
If your elderly loved one lives alone and is largely isolated from society, you might consider organizing a network of trusted relatives and friends to help monitor your loved one’s daily activities and the possibility of outside influences that could lead to financial abuse. Older adults who have solid connections to those around them have a lower risk of experiencing financial mistreatment.
Protection for the elderly
An older person should be treated with dignity and respect. Devoted family members must remain alert to behavioral signs that may indicate increasing vulnerability to financial abuse. A well-conceived estate plan can also ensure the protection of assets belonging to the elderly thereby foiling the plans of any greedy relative, friend or stranger who might attempt financial exploitation.