Caregiver.com

For About and By Caregivers


Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine
  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font



FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Thanksgiving Theft Thwarting Tips / Editorial List

Share This Article

 
 
Thanksgiving Theft Thwarting Tips


(Page 1 of 2)



And now, a Thanksgiving message about something of great importance for all family caregivers...

As part of its 10th Annual Home for the Holidays campaign, the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), is encouraging older adults, caregivers and their families to use their time together this holiday season to discuss and get informed about strategies to prevent financial exploitation.

"Financial exploitation is a threat to the health, safety, dignity and independence of vulnerable older adults," said Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "This holiday season, we encourage families to spend some time asking older family members some basic questions to ensure that their finances are in good hands and that if there are signs of abuse, that the right steps are taken to stop it."

Financial exploitation of older adults can take many forms and can come in many guises including telemarketing scams, identity theft, fake check scams, home repair fraud, and even “sweetheart scams” whereby a con artist befriends or romances an isolated lonely older adult to gain control over their finances.  

“Unfortunately, financial exploitation can often be committed by a person you know and trust—a friend, caregiver or even a family member, which makes it even more difficult," said Sandy Markwood, CEO, n4a.  "We are seeing more and more financial abuse across the country, which is why this holiday season, we hope families will check in with their older relatives to be sure that their finances are in good order and in good hands."

There are several signs of financial exploitation for families to look out for, including financial activity that is inconsistent with an older adult’s past financial history; multiple withdrawals within a short time period; inconsistent signatures on documents; confusion about recent financial arrangements; new names added to accounts or other changes to key documents that have not been authorized; a caregiver or beneficiary who refuses to use designated funds for necessary care and treatment of an older adult, and an older adult who feels uncomfortable or even threatened by a caregiver or another individual who is seeking to control their finances.

1 2