Financial elder abuse is one of the greatest crimes of this century. When our aging parents begin to decline, they are usually not the first to notice the problem. These 10 warning signs can help you know when it’s time to take over the checkbook. You can protect your loved one from ruthless people who are bent on ripping them off.
1. The elder has forgotten to pay an important bill and you notice collection letters in the elder’s mail or bill collectors call on the phone when you visit.
2. The elder has neglected a part of daily life, which she or he has always attended to in the past. Forgetting housekeeping, neglecting personal grooming, not maintaining the yard, not putting gas in the car, or other forgetting can alert you to the fact that something has changed from what was usual.
3. The elder forgets that you were coming to visit, even though you called with a reminder just before the visit.
4. Marked weight gain or loss, which can be a sign of depression or other mental health or physical problem.
5. The elder is spending money on things he or she does not need and normally would not want. Odd-appearing changes in spending habits can be a sign of loss of ability to make safe decisions.
6. The elder is getting telephone calls and items in the mail asking for money and he or she is inclined to write a check or give money to all of them.
7. The elder gives personal information to strangers on the telephone or at the door, sometimes including bank accounts or credit card information.
8. The elder has made a new “friend” who calls or visits often, and whom you find out has persuaded the elder to give money to him.
9. The elder is isolated, has limited transportation, and has a lack of social networks from which to draw companionship.
10. The elder has recently lost a spouse.
Take a moment to reflect on your aging parent’s life, and see if any of these warning signs apply. If the answer is “yes” for any of these warning signs, then it’s time to take action as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of financial abuse or misuse of money.
Your role as the adult child is to step up and do your part to ensure that your parent will be financially safe. There are many issues involving your legal rights and duties around a parent’s money, which can be confusing if you don’t have the right knowledge.
If you want a shortcut to learning the ropes of helping your aging parent or loved one manage finances as fast as you can get it…giving you the upper hand in tackling your aging parent’s financial issues…especially if you’ve seen them display any of these warning signs above…you can: starting today.
There are many excellent professional resources in our community to assist you in how to legally (and correctly) handle your aging parent’s money. Please me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This article reprinted courtesy of agingparents.com.