Financial abuse of an elderly loved one can cause great harm. It’s even more dangerous when combined with other types of abuse, such as emotional and physical abuse. Senior financial abuse is the misuse of an elderly’s finances by someone else without their consent. It often occurs slowly over time and can be challenging to detect. It can take different forms, such as isolation from family, restrictions in where they can go or who they can contact, being taken advantage of financially, or being lied to or deceived about financial matters. Financial abuse may also involve threats of harm toward the victim if they try to leave the abusive relationship or prevent others from coming into contact with them.
Financial abuse can make it harder for an elderly loved ones to maintain their independence and safety by limiting their access to money, hiding assets, and discouraging them from seeking help from outside sources. If you have noticed changes in your parent’s spending habits, have concerns about their financial affairs, or feel that their financial security has been threatened, you should speak with a trusted professional sooner rather than later.
Begin A Family Conversation
Begin the process by having a discussion with your elderly loved one about their financial security. The more open and honest you can be about their finances, the better equipped you will be to notice, prevent and deal with any concerns as they arise. You can begin this conversation by asking your loved one if they would like to talk with you about any concerns they may have about their finances. You can begin by bringing up what you know and what you want to know. You can also bring up any concerns you have as well. If your loved one has a lawyer or financial advisor, they can also discuss any concerns you may have regarding their financial matters with them. If your loved one is being isolated or mistreated by a family member, it is advisable to talk to them about it before it worsens.
Create A Family Financial Management Plan
Next, you and your loved one must create a family financial management plan. A plan is especially important if your loved one has a spouse or significant other who is also experiencing or at risk of experiencing financial abuse. A family financial management plan can help you keep track of your loved one’s finances and spot any patterns in their spending. It can also help them obtain help if they are experiencing financial abuse. Creating a plan does not need to be time-consuming or overwhelming. It simply needs to be done.
Keep Track Of Your Parent’s Finances
This can be done in a variety of ways. Some people like to keep track on a calendar or spreadsheet to keep track of their loved one’s spending over time. Others want to keep track of the money in envelopes or bags with a label with the person’s name. Whatever method you choose, you must keep track of your loved one’s finances. Keeping track of their finances can help you spot any patterns in their spending and help you to keep track of who has access to their finances.
Encourage Them To Seek Help And Safeguard Their Identity
If your loved one is experiencing any red flags of financial abuse, you should encourage them to seek help and safeguard their identity. This can be difficult for many victims because they may be embarrassed or ashamed that something like financial abuse has happened to them. Encourage your loved ones to take advantage of seek professional help by reminding them that they don’t have to deal with these issues alone.