As your loved ones grow older, it’s natural to be concerned about their physical well-being. However, you should make sure to watch over their financial well-being as well, as money-related elder abuse is only reported by one of every 44 victims. While you should seek an elder law attorney if you suspect that your aging loved one is a victim of elder abuse, you can also use the following tips to protect them against such abuse.
How to Protect Older Loved Ones Against Elder Fraud
1. Look for the Signs of Fraud
First, learn how to recognize financial hardship among your elder loved ones. For example, if your parent constantly asks you for money or is having a hard time buying their essentials, you might want to sit down and ask why their income is no longer enough. If they seem to be increasingly secretive with their bank accounts, or if you notice large sums of money being taken from their account, they may be giving funds to a company or individual that is threatening them or someone that has tricked them into thinking they owe money.
2. Ask to Help Manage Their Finances
Whether your loved one is dealing with mental decline or simply wishes they had more free time, your offer to help manage their bank accounts could bring them instant relief. Other individuals may be apprehensive about giving up control or feel insulted that you feel they are incapable of doing it themselves. Therefore, it’s important to tread lightly and hold a casual conversation about finances rather than just stating your intent to intervene. Ask them if they would feel comfortable sitting down with you once a week, or even once a month, so you could review their transactions and ensure no one is taking advantage of them.
3. Get to Know Their Friends & Acquaintances
While you may wish you could spend more quality time with your loved one, there’s more to visiting than just maintaining a connection. It’s also a smart way to see who your parent is hanging around, or who they speak to regularly. Whether they’re always on the phone with an old friend or have made some new acquaintances at their assisted living facility, ask your loved one what they talk about with their friends. In some cases, these individuals may be taking advantage of your loved one and asking them to borrow money on a routine basis.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of financial elder abuse, get in touch with Stephen B. Kaufman of the Bronx, NY. This respected attorney has over 40 years of experience helping clients fight for compensation when they are injured or otherwise harmed. From fraud to car accidents, you can trust this Bronx attorney to have your loved one’s best interests in mind. Call (718) 822-0500 to schedule a consultation, or visit the website to learn more about his office’s services.