FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
This week marks the tenth anniversary
of my annual pilgrimage to the National Council on
Aging/American Society on Aging annual conference. This is always a great time to catch up with many of
the nation’s eldercare thought leaders as well as find out
what is new with regards to information and advice for
family caregivers. One very interesting session that I attended dealt
with new statistics about an issue of great importance to
us- preventing elder financial abuse. Our friends at MetLife Mature Market Institute, the
National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and
the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University have just come out with comprehensive
guidelines addressing the issue. And it is no small concern since annually almost
three billion dollars are lost to financial abuse of our
elder loved ones.
Here are a few of their important tips
to help avoid being a victim of financial abuse:
- Involve people you trust in making
important financial decisions.
- Use direct deposit for Social Security
and other payments to prevent mail theft.
- Sign all of your own checks.
- Keep important papers and legal
documents in a safe, secure place.
- Never give out your social security
number over the telephone.
- Keep your important legal documents
(such as power of attorney) updated.
- Do not share your important passwords
- You are not being rude by hanging up
when a solicitor calls.
- You can add your name and phone number
to the National Do Not Call Registry by calling
- Be wary if someone asks you to change
your will or add his or her name to your bank accounts or
- Do not be afraid or embarrassed to
discuss your concerns with someone you trust. The situation
could become worse if you do nothing.
- If you receive a solicitation that
sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
The lesson of the session: as in all things of importance to our loved ones
wellbeing, you can do no better than to trust your own