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Early signs of financial exploitation in the elderly

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Elder Abuse |

As people age, they become more vulnerable in physical, mental, emotional and financial ways. 

Financial exploitation of the elderly is a significant problem, and it often comes from within their inner circle – perpetuated by family members, trusted friends, caregivers and even business partners.

Spotting the early signs of financial exploitation in your loved ones can help you prevent their financial instability, loss of independence and significant emotional distress. Here are some red flags that should make you ask questions:

Unusual financial trouble

If your grandmother never had trouble paying her bills before but has suddenly started watching every penny and going without essential items because she’s “helping” a needy friend or relative, it’s very possible that her “friend” is bleeding her bank account dry.

Sudden secrecy about their finances

Your dad has never been remotely cagey in the past about his financial habits, but now he seems on edge if you offer him a ride to the bank. He’s also made comments that make you think that he’s grown suspicious of you – for no reason – and may cut you out of his will. You noticed the changes started right after his old business partner started coming around to talk about some great new opportunities and you openly questioned their viability or sense.

Isolation from family and friends

Has someone become your loved one’s self-appointed “gatekeeper,” inserting themselves into all communications, restricting visits and phone calls? If someone is making excuses for why your loved one suddenly can’t come to the phone or take visitors, that’s a sign they are purposefully being isolated, which is a setup for exploitation. 

If you believe that your loved one may be the victim of financial abuse, it’s very important to move quickly. Legal guidance can help you figure out the next step.

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