With financial abuse, the best place to start is to observe behavior. There are certain warning signs that they are vulnerable. Here’s what to look for:
– Poor Physical Health. Those who are physically compromised are unlikely to be focused on financial matters. They are often vulnerable to swindles.
– Cognitive Impairment. When the ability to do basic things like read a banking statement or balance a checkbook declines, that’s when you have to pay attention. Those with declining math skills will not be asking important questions about new investing “opportunities.”
– Difficulty in Activities of Daily Living.If a person has trouble feeding themselves, bathing or shopping, that’s a big set of red flags. That also means that they will have trouble managing money.
– Social Isolation. Are they all alone? Then they won’t have the support of a network of peers, who could warn about scams.
In general, having strong social connections — whether with family or friends — can help curb financial abuse. Others can vet potential swindles.
“Fraudsters and financial exploiters use undue influence – the substitution of one person’s will for the will of another (Quinn, 2000) – to limit and control an older person’s social interactions, thereby creating a sense of powerlessness and dependency.
This makes elders easier to manipulate, even if they are mentally competent. In one of the elder fraud cases I studied, a caregiver isolated the older person from her family and withheld food to coerce her to sell property and fire a long-term accountant.”
The best safeguard against financial abuse? Getting your entire family and social network involved. Talk to your older relatives often. Have they been approached by “new” friends? Have they been offered a “unique” investment opportunity. If you listen closely enough, you’ll be able to stop scams before they go too far.
Full Article and Source:
4 Risk Factors For Elder Abuse