Posted on 16 November 2012
By Mark Miller
Law enforcement, regulators and the financial industry have all stepped up efforts in recent years to protect seniors against devastating financial loss due to scams. But holiday get-togethers present a great opportunity for family members to do their own preventive check up on the financial security of elders.
As part of its 10th Annual Home for the Holidays campaign, the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A), is encouraging older adults, caregivers and their families to use their time together this holiday season to discuss and get informed about strategies to prevent financial exploitation.
The National Center on Elder Abuse partnered with the Eldercare Locator to produce a consumer guide that is now available to help inform this discussion with seniors during the holiday season. Click here to download the guide as a PDF file.
“Financial exploitation is a threat to the health, safety, dignity and independence of vulnerable older adults,” said Kathy Greenlee, Administrator, Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging. “This holiday season, we encourage families to spend some time asking older family members some basic questions to ensure that their finances are in good hands and that if there are signs of abuse, that the right steps are taken to stop it.”
There are several signs of financial exploitation for families to look out for, including financial activity that is inconsistent with an older adults past financial history; confusion about recent financial arrangements; changes to key documents that have not been authorized; a caregiver or beneficiary who refuses to use designated funds for necessary care and treatment of an older adult; and an older adult who feels threatened by a caregiver or another individual who is seeking to control their finances.
“Unfortunately, financial exploitation is often committed by a person you know and trust, which makes it even more difficult,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of N4A. “There are steps older adults and their families can take and resources available to help identify and remedy this serious problem.”
Click here for the RetirementRevised.com guide to elder abuse prevention.