Posted on Categories Senior Care

How Do I Protect My Elderly Loved One From Financial Abuse?

graphic of finances

No one likes to talk about getting old and finances. When we are younger, our parents had their eyes on the family finances. Even though they planned for the future, there is still the threat of financial abuse for the elderly. Sadly, money stolen or lost for senior citizens amounts to over $35 billion annually in the United States. Sometimes, it is taken by those we trust – a family member or home care personnel. Hire a senior care agency today to avoid your loved one from suffering financial abuse. Or, it is lost to pyramid schemes or other scams. At Comfort Keepers, we want you and your elderly parents to be proactive against financial abuse.

 

Ways to Financially Protect your Parents

  1. Planning. Planning starts with a conversation. Discussing when and how to help your parents protect their finances will be difficult. Your parents still want to be independent and you want to make sure they have plenty of money to live out their golden years. There is a fine line between being intrusive and babying them. It’s also important to know:
    1. Who has power of attorney?
    2. Who are their doctors and lawyers?
    3. Do they have a will and/or an estate plan?
    4. Where are the financial documents kept?
    5. Who manages their retirement fund(s)?
  2. Be Aware. Knowing what is going on in your elderly parents’ lives is key to detecting signs of financial fraud. It’s also about gaging their emotional, physical and financial state. If you notice unpaid bills, weekly withdrawals or forgetfulness, you should have a talk with your parents and create a financial plan. Maybe it’s time to hire in-home care? In-home caregivers will make sure your parents are safe and happy – and give you peace of mind.
  3. Home Care Solutions. When the time comes to hire a home care agency, you’ll need to do a thorough background check. This starts by choosing licensed home health agencies who perform background checks and periodic drug tests. We hear too many stories of home care staff abusing their clients – not just financially! The whole point of hiring caregivers to ensure a happy and healthy environment for your parents. Other ways to judge home care agencies is by reviewing online testimonials, company mission statements, and personal referrals.

 

While there is a large amount of trust put on upon caregivers, you don’t want to invite trouble. Financial and personal documents should be locked away. This includes debit cards, credit cards, and checks. If possible, have a family member do the shopping with your parent’s debit or credit card. Or, you can give a designated credit card to the home caregiver. Be sure to review each statement and don’t be afraid to ask him or her questions about spending or purchases.

 

  1. New Friends. We want you parents to meet new people, but when they are isolated and suddenly have a best friend, it’s time to pay attention. Many times, the new “friend” is only in the relationship for financial gain. So, it’s best to keep on him or her.
  2. Monitoring Services. There are financial monitoring services designed for older adults. For example, EverSafe will scan your parent’s financial accounts for suspicious activity.

 

Quality Home Care Assistance

It’s hard to step in and guide your elderly parents to making sound financial decisions. As children, we fight so hard to be independent. However, as older adults, we fight hard not to give it up. And we don’t want our parents to feel like they can’t take care of themselves. If you are thinking about hiring a home care agency, you should choose one that meets your and your parent’s criteria. Our Comfort Keepers are passionate about providing a quality life for their clients. They treat their clients like members of their own family. Contact us today or call us at 877-698-9394  to see if Comfort Keepers is the right fit for your family!