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Safeguarding your loved ones from abuse

The elderly are more susceptible to abuse than other members of society. Many are unable to care for themselves and rely on others to do even the most routine tasks. Others treat everyone with a trusting attitude and fall victim to scammers who play on their fears. As a family member or friend, the last thing you want is for your loved one to be abused physically or financially.

So what can you do to prevent it from happening? Here are a few ways:

  • Make sure their phone numbers are on the do-not-call registry. Telephone solicitors can often get ahold of your loved one and convince them to send money with the promise of big rewards. Keeping them off the list altogether can prevent that from happening.
  • Help them put together and maintain their estate plan. Setting up powers of attorney, drafting a will and making decisions about medical problems is much easier now than when dementia or Alzheimer's make it impossible. Having a solid estate plan in place can also help your loved one protect their assets.
  • If they are in a nursing home, check up on them frequently. When you visit, look for signs of abuse like insufficient staff, messes that haven't been cleaned up and complaints from the residents.
  • Check credit reports regularly. Doing so can help you stay on top of any suspicious activity or incidents of identity theft.

If you suspect your elderly loved one has been the victim of abuse, an elder law attorney may be able to help you get justice for them.

Source: fool.com, "Protect Your Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Abuse," Mark Cussen, February 15, 2017

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