How to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse

How to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse

Do you know an older person who is isolated, home-bound, female, and / or deteriorating health? They might be at greater risk for Elder Financial Abuse.

Who typically commits elder abuse:

  • family members or friends
  • person in a position of authority who has the older persons trust
  • nursing home staff or caregivers
  • complete strangers

Perpetrators may pretend:

  • the elder has won a prize
  • a family member needs the money
  • they are connected to their bank
  • are a contractor to make repairs

Why do people commit Elder Abuse:

  • Fear the elder wont save money for their family
  • feel the belongings are rightfully theirs
  • have financial difficulties, gambling issues or addictions
  • want to keep other family members from inheriting

If you think an older person in your life is being abused, look for the warning signs like:

  • forgeries on signed documents
  • getting charged too much for services
  • sudden change of a will or bank accounts
  • having financial problems or unable to pay bills
  • using possessions without permission
  • unauthorized charges on credit cards
  • sudden changes in financial decisions

If you notice changes like these, don’t wait, take action immediately to keep your older friend safe!

How to protect your older friend:

  • order copies of your credit report at least yearly
  • don’t rush into financial decisions
  • get to know your financial partners and build a relationship with them
  • pay bills with checks and credit card to keep a paper trail
  • never give up personal information
  • shred paper documents with important account info
  • feel free to say “no”
  • trust your instincts