For older adults considering their retirement years and their closest family members, aging in place is a very appealing prospect. Rather than moving to a retirement community or nursing home, the older adult will seek to remain in the same home they currently inhabit for as long as possible. Some people even go through hospice care in their homes.
These older adults and their families will potentially make changes to the property so that it is safer for them to live there in their golden years. Those changes may include moving the bedroom to the first floor, adding an accessible shower, replacing the toilet and even changing the door knobs and faucet fixtures to be easier to use with limited manual dexterity.
Eventually, the older adult may require one-on-one support from nursing professionals. Bringing support into the house can be a viable solution, but it also leads to the serious risk people often overlook about aging in place.
Those who help in the home can easily abuse their position
When you bring nursing specialists or personal assistants into someone’s home to administer their medication, help them shower or perform daily chores, that individual may eventually abuse their position of authority.
Some people will seek to secure financial benefits beyond the paycheck that they receive. They might steal items from your loved one’s house, buy personal items while grocery shopping for your loved ones or even manipulate them into changing their estate plan. The financial abuse of elders can be very difficult to detect and can both impact an older adult’s quality of life and the legacy they leave when they die.
How do you protect a loved one from financial abuse?
Remaining actively involved in your loved one’s day-to-day life is the best option for minimizing the risk of financial abuse when they require in-home professional support. Frequent visits could help you spot items that go missing, while a review of your loved one’s financial records could help you spot unusual purchasing or spending.
Financial abuse may lead to the prosecution of the individual involved, the invalidation of someone’s estate plan or sometimes civil claims against the abuser or the company that gave them access to your loved one. Recognizing and taking action when you suspect financial abuse of a vulnerable adult can help you prevent that abuse from escalating.