Do You Know the Signs of Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial exploitation is a leading form of elder abuse. The National Council on Aging reports that elder financial abuse accounts for as much in $36.5 billion in losses each year. It’s hard to tell exactly how many people are victims as many seniors never report it. If their family members don’t catch financial abuse, the crimes go unpunished.

Elderly Care in Lowell MI: Signs of Financial Elder Abuse

Elderly Care in Lowell MI: Signs of Financial Elder Abuse

Learn the signs of financial exploitation. You may think it’s easy to identify, but it may not be as easy as you’d imagine. Here are things you need to know.

Unpaid Bill or Eviction Notices.

Often, when a senior citizen is being abused financially, bills don’t get paid. With less money in accounts, the senior simply doesn’t pay bills that don’t seem as important. If someone else is managing the finances, that person may stop paying bills, marking them paid in ledgers, and pocketing the money.

If you see late notices or unpaid bill notices, ask to go over bank statements. Even if someone else is in control of the finances, your parent should be able to access statements without issue. If there is a problem, it’s time to talk to authorities.

ATM and Bank Withdrawals.

Does your parent’s bank account show lots of withdrawals from an ATM or at the financial institution? If your parent can’t remember withdrawing cash, it’s important to check into it. The bank should have a signature. You’ll be able to tell if it’s your parents. If it’s an ATM withdraw that seems suspicious, report it and ask for a freeze to be put on any debit or ATM cards.

New Friends.

You go to visit your dad and he has a new friend. His “friend” acts very close and always seems to be there. It may be nothing, but it’s worth keeping a close eye on your dad’s bank accounts.

Credit Score Drops.

Check your mom and dad’s credit scores. There may be slight fluctuation from time to time. If there’s a large drop, order copies of credit reports immediately. Look for new accounts that your mom didn’t open. Put a credit freeze in place with all of the agencies to ensure no more loans can be taken out. Ask to see paperwork for the new loan.

Make sure your parents are not left alone. Scammers may call, email, or even show up at the door. Financial abuse is often perpetrated by close friends or family members. More than one party should be checking that bills are being paid and that bank accounts aren’t seeing unexpected activity. Caregivers can track daily visitors and calls and let you know if anything seems off.

Call us today to learn more about home care services. Abuse is common when a senior seems alone and unattended. Make sure your parents are never alone for long periods of time.

If you or someone you know needs help with elderly care in Lowell, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.




About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.