When many Long Island residents think of elder abuse, they may think of senior citizens being abused and neglected in nursing homes. However, financial abuse is quite common as well. Many elderly people are vulnerable to scams and deception by those trying to take advantage of their assets. This is why careful estate administration is recommended.
Although many senior citizens are exploited by those they do not know, more and more are taken advantage of by close family members. The very family member entrusted to act as one's financial power of attorney can end up squandering away the money or even stealing it for his or her own use. Therefore, it is important for a person to carefully choose who he or she wants to act as power of attorney.
For those choosing an in-home caregiver, it is important to take necessary steps to keep the home secure. Lock up jewelry, cash, documents and other important valuables. It is also a good idea to conduct a background check on the individual, if it is allowed. A surveillance camera may also be installed.
Elderly people are often targets for scams because they often live in isolation. They may enjoy the attention they receive from callers asking for personal information. In addition, they are often more trusting than others and have no problem divulging financial and personal information.
Elder abuse laws vary by state, so it is important for people to take legal action if they believe their loved one was a victim. It is never acceptable to misuse a person's money and other assets, even if he or she is a relative.
Source: News-Sentinel, "Prevent elder financial abuse by those you know," Dec. 24, 2012