There are multiple types of abuse other than physical or emotional abuse. Elder abuse is not uncommon in the field of eldercare. One of the most concerning types for family members who don’t live close by is financial elder abuse. Unfortunately, perpetrators are often those charged with caring for them. This article discusses what families should look for, and how to protect elders from financial abuse.
What Does Financial Elder Abuse Look Like?
It is common to assume that financial elder abuse occurs because seniors are pulled into fraudulent schemes without realizing it. Today’s use of technology for everything, from staying connected with friends and family on social media to banking or even talking to your doctor, presents ample opportunities for fraud. But 90% of elder abuse is committed by someone that the person knows. This may be a caregiver or a family member such as an adult child, grandchild, or a niece or nephew. While wealthy seniors seem like prime targets for financial abuse, the truth is that financial abuse can happen to anyone.
The patterns of financial abuse may start small with some as innocuous as an adult child charging groceries to their elderly parent’s credit card. It can be more deliberate like outright stealing or requesting for someone new to be added to a senior’s will. The older person may not even be aware that they’ve been taken advantage of until after it’s already happened. Upwards of 96% of financial abuse can go undetected or remain hidden.
Education is Key
A key component to helping protect against financial abuse is an education first. Seniors who are approaching retirement age or who are already living in retirement should have a good sense of what their sources of income are. They should be educated on how to manage their finances, and be made aware of the various scams that may target them. If an older person is already struggling with financial elder abuse or isn’t able to be in control of their financial affairs, then an aging care manager may be able to help.
How Aging Care Managers Help?
Aging care managers are professionals that have backgrounds in fields like social work, nursing, or others. Their job is to help seniors and their families navigate complex issues such as caregiver management, medical, insurance, or financial oversight, and help them find solutions to address them. In the case of financial abuse, aging care managers can help with different aspects of finances like paying bills, supervising the paying of bills, or working with an accountant. They can also talk to family members or other people who have a power of attorney. They can assist with insurance claims and applications too.
For families who live outside the area, an aging care manager can be a valuable resource. They are located where their client is. This allows a manager quick access and the ability to set up local resources easily. These professionals give families regular updates and supervise everything in connection with their client’s wellbeing. Aging care managers may also specialize in financial issues or have additional training in it.
If you’re searching for a solution to protect elders or address ongoing financial elder abuse, visit AgingCare.io. Our directory of independently certified aging care managers includes people who address finances and can assist in your loved one’s locality.