April 4, 2011
The following are ways family members and home care agency caregivers can help protect their senior loved ones from the threat of scams, from the National Association of Triads, Inc. and Home Instead Senior Care:
Watch for unusual activity.
The elderly who've been scammed may be embarrassed and try to hide the situation. Watch for changes in their lifestyle as well as any other unusual financial or business activity.
Be on guard for individuals who have befriended your loved one.
Lonely or isolated seniors may be vulnerable to con criminals who befriend and provide them with companionship only to take advantage of them. Ask to talk to your parent's new friend to find out more about him or her. A thief won't stick around long to chat.
Investigate organizations looking for money.
The elderly often want to donate to organizations and other worthy causes. But help your loved ones request written information on any soliciting organization. Then you should review it thoroughly, and/or contact your area (or the national) Better Business Bureau for assistance.
Assist seniors with their finances.
When elderly loved ones can no longer handle their finances, encourage them to put a plan in place that will help ensure their bills are paid and their assets protected. The plan may include having them designate a financial power of attorney.
Destroy any information that could be compromised.
Make sure your senior shreds all financial information and credit card offers before discarding them in the trash.
Seek out a second set of eyes.
If you don't live near your senior loved one or can't always be there, help this older adult build a solid support network of neighbors, friends, or professional home care providers like Home Instead CAREGivers.
NOTE: Additional Telemarketing and Internet Fraud Tips are available from the National Fraud Information Center at www.fraud.org
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