While you may be familiar with what elder financial abuse is, are you equally familiar with the risk factors associated with this form of abuse? Educating yourself could prove instrumental in protecting an elderly loved one.
Forbes explores the issue, to help you know what to look for and what questions to ask. Take steps to prevent a bad situation from gaining traction and ruining lives.
Elderly individuals diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s and the like may not recognize financial abuse when it happens. An inability to perform basic math or keep up with a bank account sets the stage for an unscrupulous individual, such as a nursing home staff member, to swindle someone out of her or his money.
Rather than the mind, it may be the person’s physical body that is in decline. What makes poor physical health a risk factor is that the person may focus so much on her or his medical condition that concentrating on financial health could fall to the wayside.
Senior citizens aging in their homes rather than in a long-term care facility may easily become isolated. Lacking a social safety net could leave the person uninformed about scams to watch out for.
Inability to carry out everyday tasks
On a related note, elderly individuals who cannot bathe, feed or clothe themselves may become unknowing victims of financial scams, mainly because they have to depend on others to survive. A caretaker who shops for an elderly person who cannot leave the house may take advantage of having access to the senior citizen’s banking information or money.
Is there a chance that an elderly loved one in your life is at risk of financial abuse? Besides checking up on your loved one, explore the legal protections available regarding elder financial abuse.