Financial abuse is one of the more common types of senior abuse. It’s hard to get a gauge on how many people are impacted by this, especially because reports indicate that more than half of senior abuse cases go unreported.
Financial abuse certainly fits in this category, oftentimes because the people that are impacted by it don’t always know that it’s happening. And if the abuse is detected, it often goes unreported for fear of being humiliated.
But this is something that we can all take a stand against and help protect the people that we love, and it’s not a difficult thing to do. Just being aware of what financial abuse is and having a working knowledge of what can be done to prevent it is a start.
That’s why I’ve compiled this brief list of things that you can do to help avoid this and help those that you love be a little bit safer.
1: Have a trusted individual hold financial authority. This can be a family member, but doesn’t need to be. An attorney can also be a valuable asset here.
2: Use an outside financial monitoring company. There are a handful of reliable companies out there that can do this for you or a loved one. Some are free, but the more inclusive ones have a small cost attached to them. This can be another layer of protection and spot unusual transfers.
3: Research caregivers. If your older loved one does need senior care, it’s important that the people providing this service are trustworthy? Ask questions. Have they had a background check completed? What policies are in place if you suspect that something unethical is going on? There should always be a plan of accountability in place when it comes to care.
There’s never an acceptable reason for elder abuse to occur, whether it’s of the financial type or something else. No one deserves to be treated unfairly, to be taken advantage of, or to be hurt. Awareness is one of the most important things that can be done to help prevent abuse. Just by knowing what abuse can look like and being more vigilant, we can all take steps today to reduce the likelihood of it happening to someone close to us. Unfortunately, abuse can sometimes happen right under our noses–either accidentally or because we just didn’t know what to look for. Being a little more educated about it can help prevent this from happening.
That’s why I would like to encourage you to keep learning more about elder abuse and what can be done to help stop it. There are a number of resources here on this blog that you might find helpful, or head over to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website to learn more about what can be done to help prevent elder abuse from happening.
It’s not a pleasant topic, but if we all do our part to learn more about it, we can take great strides to help our vulnerable loved ones live safer, happier lives.