5 Ways To Stop The Financial Exploitation Of Seniors

Did you know that elder financial exploitation was one of the top 10 consumer scams targeting seniors in 2017? In fact, the SEC reports that seniors who develop Alzheimer’s or other neurocognitive diseases are most vulnerable to financial exploitation. In this article, we explore 5 constructive ways to stop the financial exploitation of seniors.

Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The Phone. Let's Stop The Financial Exploitation Of Seniors.

Who Is Responsible For Elder Financial Abuse

Elder financial abuse is defined as the unauthorized use of a senior’s assets for personal gain.

Research shows that trusted persons commit 66 % of financial crimes against seniors. Generally, responsible parties are:

  • medical professionals
  • family members
  • neighbors
  • attorneys
  • religious leaders

Financial exploitation can make it impossible for seniors to provide for their long-term financial, social, and emotional well-being.

How Perpetrators Take Advantage Of Seniors

Elder financial abuse is increasing, but many seniors are unaware of the risk. According to a Wells Fargo survey of 784 seniors, only 10% of seniors believe they are susceptible to scams.

Knowing this, perpetrators target seniors through the following methods:

  • withdrawing money from checking accounts without authorization
  • redirecting Social Security payments to other accounts
  • using the power of attorney to take control of bank and investment accounts
  • obtaining money to finance charity or romance scams

Congress has taken steps to protect vulnerable seniors, however. In fact, the 2018 Senior Safe Act makes it easier for bankers to report suspected elder financial abuse to law enforcement authorities.

Actionable Ways To Stop The Financial Exploitation Of Seniors

While the national effort to protect seniors is certainly encouraging, it is particularly important to remain on the alert. Below are 5 actionable ways to protect your loved one:

  • Arrange for direct deposit for all Social Security and pension checks.
  • To prevent abuses, choose more than one family member to have power of attorney. All in all, this is an effective way to spot suspicious will changes.
  • Keep track of credit card expenses and account withdrawals.
  • Begin the conversation about financial exploitation carefully. Talk about recent news stories highlighting scams. In the course of your conversations, you could uncover previously unknown information about your loved one’s financial concerns.
  • Encourage your loved one to refrain from sharing sensitive information, such as bank account logins, over the phone or email. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to protect your loved one.

David York Agency Understands The Dangers Of Elder Financial Abuse

For more about how to stop the financial exploitation of seniors, be sure to explore David York Agency’s blog.

If you need more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 877.216.7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

We’d also like to assure you that you can get answers to your immediate concerns by contacting us today.

Elder Self-Neglect: Most Common Form of Elder Abuse

The Geriatric Care Manager shows up to check on her 78-year-old client. She notices the elderly man is gaunter and noticeably thinner than when she started the case. From week to week, the piles of mail seem to grow and the dishes seem to wait all week for the once per week cleaning woman to come. The apartment has an unpleasant odor signaling the need for more help than agreed to by the client. Sadly, all these are signs of elder self-neglect, a growing problem among the elderly.

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According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), elderly self-neglect far exceeds any physical or sexual abuse or neglect by others such as their assigned caregiver. Geriatric Care Managers report as follows: 92% say they encounter this in their community; 52% of them say it is a growing problem, and 76% of them say it is the most common form of elder abuse/neglect that they encounter in their practices.

The warning signs of elder self-neglect are:

  1. Poor personal hygiene with respect to bathing and grooming.
  2. Poor medical management as defined by forgetting doses or refusing to take medications and refusing medical treatment.
  3. Signs of dehydrations and malnutrition.
  4. Unsanitary living conditions.
  5. Signs of unpaid bills, bounced checks and/or utility turn-offs.
  6. Weight loss and a shortage of food in the house.

Possible Underlying Causes

While it is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder self-neglect, it is even more important to take a look at possible underlying causes. These include:

  1. Depression which is so common in the elderly.
  2. Increased physical and/or mental deficits or dementia.
  3. Undiagnosed illness that might be causing extreme fatigue.
  4. Medications with side effects that cause lethargy.
  5. Continuation of a lifelong pattern of slovenliness.

If you think someone you know or love is suffering from elder abuse or elder self-neglect, you can contact The National Center on Elder Abuse for a state by state listing of resources that can help.

When you can’t be there, David York Agency is with skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home. We are fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and always available to set up a senior homecare plan taking the whole patient into account. David York Agency is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors and we would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (877) 216-7676 or visit our website. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

 

 

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder Abuse Shockers

We were all shocked by the latest images of Peter Mazza, a 99-year-old Staten Island man who was fatally abused and neglected by his caregivers. Even Mickey Rooney testified before Congress about being a victim of elder abuse and mistreatment in the form of financial abuse. Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem that we all must be vigilant for.

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As we become senior citizens, we have to contend with becoming more and more dependent on those around us. As such, it is even more important to make sure that these people are worthy of our trust.

According to the NYS Elder Abuse Prevalence Study of May 2011, Elder Abuse can take the form of: (1) Neglect by a responsible caregiver (2) Financial exploitation (3) Emotional abuse (4) Physical abuse (including sexual).

Fighting Elder Abuse

Tracking and combating elder abuse is difficult due to a lack of centralized ownership of these cases. Unfortunately, they are referred out to disparate departments such as housing, law enforcement or fraud. There has been a call to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a resource center for elder abuse information. As a result, Elder Abuse Victims Acts have been introduced in Congress to dedicate more resources and improve response to these unfortunate events.

At David York Home Healthcare Agency, we are always on the lookout for our clients. Our home health aides are thoroughly interviewed and rigorously screened including a criminal background check. Moreover, our aides participate in ongoing in-service classes to keep them abreast of the latest trends and things to watch for. We are in constant contact with them. Furthermore, we stress that they must report any concerns they have about their clients to us. Additionally, we are available 24 hours a day to the client, their family and the aides for emergencies and any problem that arises.

David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for home healthcare. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 and we would be happy to discuss your case with you. Visit our website at www.davidyorkagency.com or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.