Every year, every month, possibly everyday caregivers, financial advisors, and faux medical “professionals” are taking advantage of the elder community in America. For many older Americans, the myriad of options when it comes to financial and medical advisement—and it only becomes more and more cluttered every year. The oldest among us lose over a billion dollars a year through financial exploitation by fraud or dishonest caregivers. It’s unfortunate and all too common for the elderly to be exploited, and there are a few things that you should do to protect yourself and your loved ones from being taken advantage of.
Be picky when choosing caregivers
Look into the reputation of anyone who is going to be looking over you and your property or that of an elderly loved one. They will have extensive access to property and healthcare devices and information. Research whom they have worked with in the past and what those people have to say about their integrity and history.
Keep track of credit and debit payments
For many of us, young and older alike, we don’t keep keen enough an eye on the goings-on of our bank accounts. For anybody who has people other than themselves with access to their accounts or cards, it’s extremely important to keep track of money going in and out of said accounts. Get a credit score every year and keep a record of bank statements as well.
Keep an eye on everything you (or they) own
If caregivers are coming into the home of an elderly person they have access to their belongings at times when the individual being taken care of cannot see them, it’s important to keep track of belongings to ensure they have not been stolen, broken, sold, or traded regardless of the trust you or they might have for the caregiver.
If you don’t know them, don’t give them anything
If somebody that you or your loved one calls, emails, texts, or messages them and the conversation leads to an inquiry into personal or non-public information the best course of action is to not respond and block the individual. The amount of people attempting to scam, fraud, or steal from people through digital platforms grows exponentially every year and it’s something that can be very confusing to older people who may believe them to be legitimate based on design aesthetic and language.
In the end, having a strong support system of family and friends is one of the best defenses against being the victim of malicious individuals or organizations trying to take advantage of the elderly. Keeping in contact with elder law professionals and making sure your affairs in order is the best way to go about eliminating the chance of you or a loved one being taken advantage of in the end, as they can guide you through everything that comes with age in terms of asset management, planning, and the legal path toward a sound financial structure for you and any beneficiaries.
If you have any legal or financial questions call us at one of the following numbers:
(315) 894-8330 for our Ilion office
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