The Met Life Mature Market Institute study Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances takes a close look at elder financial abuse. Elder financial abuse is more prevalent than you think and the perpetrators are often family members. Today we look at tips Met Life offers to prevent elder abuse.
Keep belongings neat; keep track of possessions; open and send your own mail; direct deposit Social Security and other checks; complete and sign your own checks whenever possible; use an answering machine to screen calls and do not provide personal information over the telephone.
Consult with an attorney about future plans, including a power of attorney; consult with an attorney about caregiving arrangements; review your will; know where to go if you suspect abuse; ask for help from police, from employees at a bank, from Adult Protective Services, if needed.
Do not leave items of value out in the open; do not sign any document unless someone you trust reviews it; do not be left out of decisions about your finances. Families, particularly those who find themselves in a caregiving role, also need to be aware of situations that place their older loved ones at risk for financial abuse. Family members should periodically inquire about their older family membersÛª financial resources and perceived limitations that may stem from their financial situation.