Be aware of elder abuse

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

As we head toward the end of the year, we’re all meeting with family and friends. Part of that involves checking in on elderly family members, be that a grandmother, grandfather or aging parent. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is warning that during these visits, it’s important to make sure these elderly family members aren’t being taken advantage of.

Federal data suggest that losses from elder financial abuse perpetrated by a known person are greater than when fraud is perpetrated by anonymous scammers. Far too many families find out about financial abuse too late and regret not seeing the signs or asking more questions.

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with our loved ones. With older adults, sudden mood changes, either depression or excitement, could be signs that something is amiss. Holiday gatherings also provide an opportunity to talk about financial exploitation with our loved ones and discuss what they can do or are doing to protect themselves and their money. Above all, respect their right for your older loved ones to make their own decisions as they are cognitively able, but leave the lines of communication open.