According to experts, most incidents of financial exploitation in older adults may be avoided before they begin. There are some precautions that you can take to keep yourself or a vulnerable loved one safe. Here are some essential tips to prevent financial exploitation.
Know the Caregivers Well
If you need to engage in-home care for a loved one, approach a bonded agency that does thorough screening and will take action in the event of theft, such as reimbursing you and calling the police. Once you’ve hired a caregiver, pay attention to how they’re caring for your loved one. Because they know you’re paying attention, they’ll be less inclined to financially abuse your loved one. If you have any reservations about a caregiver, replace them with another.
Keep in Contact with Your Loved One
Losing connections as a natural result of aging can occur as a consequence of retirement, relocation, and the deaths of family members and friends. One of the most significant risk factors for financial exploitation is social isolation.
Maintain close touch with older loved ones by paying regular visits, sending emails, texting, and making phone and video conversations. Encourage them to socialize by volunteering, joining a church, or participating in other social groups.
Track Your Accounts
There are services that can detect suspicious activities, such as sudden changes in spending habits, unexpected withdrawals, or missing deposits, and alert you and a trusted advocate. These services can help with more than only spotting identity theft, fraud, and scams; they can also help with recouping any damages. If you are a victim of fraud, for example, they can help you through the processes to report it and mitigate your losses.
Designate a Trusted Contact
A trusted contact is someone you give a bank or financial institution permission to call if they are unable to reach you or if there is suspicious activity on your account. Financial institutions can reveal certain account information to your trusted contact, but they cannot conduct transactions. You can also give someone you trust view-only access to your account. View-only individuals can see your transactions but cannot conduct business or access cash.
Appoint a Financial Power of Attorney
Choose the correct individual to make financial decisions for you while you are still able to do so. If you assign this task to two persons, they may share the burden and hold each other accountable. Skip the basic power-of-attorney form and tailor the role to your specific needs, ideally with the assistance of an attorney. Perhaps you want your agents to handle all of your financial problems, or perhaps you only want them to do things like manage property or file taxes. Do make it clear.
Choose The Trace
The Trace is delighted to provide health and wellness services in our senior living community so you can enjoy your retirement years. Our skilled team is devoted to meeting all of your lifestyle and care needs with our specialized senior living programs, which include home maintenance and meals.