Making The Complex

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Elder abuse: Taking advantage of seniors with dementia

It is heartbreaking to watch a loved one losing his or her memory and mental capacity. It is even more heart-wrenching when the elderly who suffer from dementia are taken advantage of. Elder abuse in Louisiana is a heinous act in itself, but when it is perpetrated against someone who struggles with dementia, it is even more abhorrent. Scammers are unscrupulous when it comes to trying to get what they’re after; most often, it’s money.

Many scammers use the telephone to prey on unsuspecting seniors. They come across as very professional, passing themselves off as officials or people of authority and often an elderly person with the beginning stages of dementia may believe every word uttered by these individuals. Broaching the subject with such a senior must be done delicately and without being accusatory.

The senior may need to be reminded not to give his or her information over the phone, nor to spend money on things he or she doesn’t need just because someone asks the senior to do so. If a family member has trouble getting that across to the senior, perhaps a professional such as a counselor may be able to do so. If someone can speak to those who are soliciting funds, it would be prudent to do so. Also, adding the senior’s phone number to the do-not-call registry may be helpful.

There may be a way to recoup the money lost in this manner. Speaking with a Louisiana attorney may be helpful in pursuing some sort of compensation for an elderly loved one who has come under such abuse. After listening to the circumstances, a lawyer may be able to provide advice regarding the steps that can be taken legally against scammers. 

Source:, “Is Your Loved One With Dementia Getting Scammed?“, Esther Heerema, Accessed on May 11, 2018


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