It is normal to be concerned about senior loved ones. Along with worries about their health and security, you may also have concerns about their finances. According to the AARP, the elderly are often targets of financial exploitation, especially those who experience problems with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to safeguard your family against financial fraudsters. Protecting the elderly from financial abuse ensures their assets are preserved and their living expenses are covered well into the future. Here is what you can do.
Get to know friends and caregivers
Sadly, many elderly people are targeted for financial abuse by those closest to them. This can include friends and caregivers, both of whom may have extended access to checkbooks, account numbers, and other info. You will be in a better position to recognize wrongdoing if you are friendly with all the people in your loved one’s life. Potential scam artists may also be deterred if they realize there is a person watching over a senior.
Talk about money issues honestly
People sometimes feel ashamed of their financial woes. This leads them to hide things, like unpaid bills, which will only make the matter worse. Establish an honest back and forth about your loved one’s finances, one that is free of judgement. The more open and honest your loved one is, the more likely it is they will talk to you when in need of assistance.
Monitor financial accounts
Your loved one might not feel comfortable designating you power of attorney, but that is not your only choice when it comes to financial protection. You can also become a trusted contact on your loved one’s financial accounts, which allows you to monitor, but not alter, their financial activity. If you notice a large withdrawal or other suspicious transactions, you can address them with your family member.