Financial elder abuse is the most frequent form of elder abuse and is often performed by paid caregivers, unscrupulous family members, Internet fraud, and every assorted of type of low-life scum known.
Who you think answers those emails suggesting you give them a bank check for $50,000 so that you can receive $40,000,000 from the estate of an unknown ancestor in Africa or South America or Eastern Europe? Yup you got it, elders isolated in homes, with or without dementia.
What are the some of the scams? Lottery tickets, inheritances, REVERSE mortgages, REFINANCED mortgages, help to a family member to pay for emergencies and education, help to a “friendly” caregiver or neighbor or stranger who provides social contact, and just about everything else. Many elders do not recognize how much property value they own in that house they bought 35 years ago in a lower middle class neighborhood that is now fully paid for and in the middle of a trendy and upper class neighborhood.
Here are some issues family members need to pay attention to so that the assets of an elderly family member — especially one with dementia — do not disappear. And sadly, many families also need to “watch each other” by having full disclosure to one another and the person with dementia about assets are being spent.
Free help is available from a number of institutions.
In many US states, healthcare providers, bankers, social service agencies, emergency medical technicians, all levels of the criminal justice system workers, credit card issuers and others are “mandated” (by law) reporters of SUSPECTED elder abuse. Talk to the mandated reporters — especially members of law enforcement or the Department of Adult Protective Services — if financial abuse or any other form of elder abuse is suspected. If reports are made, law enforcement is mandated to investigate and reporters’ identies are protected.
It’s sad to have to raise these issues, but better informed (and saddened) than sorry.
Click on the mind map to expand it.