Financial Protection in Your Senior Years
Accordingly, more than 90% of seniors have reported some kind of abuse in 2019 and this includes financial exploitation. Elder financial abuse is a crime that should be reported to the authorities as it deprives an elder of his resources and his independence in the long run. Incidence of this crime is on the rise as older adults are vulnerable due to their declining mental and physical health. Some of the more common financial abuse committed to seniors are theft, fraud, misuse by another person of an elder’s assets or credit card, or use of undue influence to use an elder’s resources.
What Makes Seniors Vulnerable to Financial Abuse
Seniors are most vulnerable during physical, mental, and emotional crises. When you are down with some physical ailments, you may need others to manage your expenses. You are also more vulnerable when your mental cognition declines and when you are grieving because of your spouse’s death. These can be the times when financial exploitation can be done to you without you suspecting it. Indeed, you should take care of your well-being as the person you trust may be the one doing the crime against you.
What Are the Telling Signs of Financial Abuse?
In many cases, financial abuse is never reported by the aggrieved senior. This may be because the elder does not know that a crime is happening. As a senior, it is always best to be cautious about your finances. You can help yourself to prevent this crime from happening to you. One of the most common telling signs that you are being defrauded of your money is unusual activities on your bank accounts. The first time that you notice this, it is best to notify bank officials. If you will not act on this, you will soon come to know that a large sum is withdrawn from your account already. You are lucky if it is not yet depleted.
Abrupt changes in spending habits, altered wills, excessive gift-giving, frequent ATM use, unpaid bills, and suspicious signatures on personal checks are among the telling signs that some forms of financial abuse are happening to a senior. A senior with advanced manifestations of aging may not be able to know that these things are happening. A concerned family member should go deeper and look into unexplained bank withdrawals, money transfers, and other activities.
How Seniors Can Protect Themselves From Financial abuse
The best way to protect yourself is to keep yourself healthy. Exercise, indulge in a proper diet, and observe a healthy lifestyle. You should always take your medications and go for your regular checkup with your doctor. This way, you will be strong and healthy for a longer time. This will ensure that you will personally manage your finances.
It may also do you more good not to be so trusting. List down all those who borrowed money from you and the amount of their loan. Take note of the date they promise to pay you. It may also be better to set an account so the bank will be the one to pay your bills. When paying, pay with your credit card or checks to have documentation. Make it a point to keep receipts. For major financial decisions, hiring a reputable professional will surely help. Just read all documents before signing.
What Are the Effects of Financial Abuse on a Senior?
Protection is the best way to prevent the ill effects of financial exploitation on older adults. Once a senior encounters financial abuse, it can truly be a very painful experience. Abuse can come in many forms like threats, lies, and deception, which can hurt a senior emotionally. This can result in depression and anxiety. Financial abuse can lead to the decline of the senior’s well-being in the long run. In worst cases when all the resources of a senior may have been depleted, a senior may live an impoverished life.
What to Do in Case of a Financial Abuse
Financial abuse is a crime, so it has corresponding penalties for those who commit it. Any senior does not deserve to undergo such an offense. When you suspect someone committing this crime against an elder, waste no time calling the authorities. It is so easy to dial 9-1-1.
Seniors should be living their twilight years the best possible way. Scamming them of their resources is inhuman. They need our help. Let’s put a stop to this widespread crime against our beloved old folks. When our time comes to be where they are, we will be luckier.