As your elderly loved ones age, they may begin to have difficulty managing their finances. When coupled with memory problems, your aging loved one may be an easy target for abuse. By knowing what signs to look for, you can help protect them from financial exploitation.
Here are some red flags of financial elder abuse.
New friends and caregivers
It isn’t too often that seniors have newcomers in their social circle. Children of seniors should exercise caution when new people come into in their parent’s life. New friends could have ill intentions and be more interested in your parent’s pocketbook than their poker game.
Missing credit cards and checkbooks
When things like credit or debit cards go missing, seniors may blame it on a memory lapse. They may be too embarrassed to say anything because they can’t remember if it’s missing or misplaced. Abusers will use the embarrassment that an elderly person feels when things go missing to their advantage which is one reason why elder abuse goes unreported.
Unusual financial transactions
Upon reviewing bank accounts, a caregiver or child may notice atypical transactions such as large withdrawals or transfers in the loved one’s account. The senior may be unable to explain the transactions or give explanations that raise suspicion. Unusual transactions and newly created accounts can be red flags of financial elder abuse.
All too often elder law attorneys see seniors falling victim to people with malicious intentions. If you’re the child of a senior who is having difficulty managing their finances a financial power of attorney may help protect them from exploitation. Protecting seniors isn’t easy, but there are steps that you can take now to try to prevent your aging loved one from falling into an abuser’s trap.