To be able to detect financial abuse of the elderly is not always easy. It may be hard to detect unless you are monitoring what the older adult is doing and how they behave. In most cases, the people who take advantage of the older adults are their friends and their relatives. In as much as the crimes against the older adults are all the same, in the sense that they share a common risk factor, financial exploitation against the older adults is committed by people who occupy primary positions of trust, such as friends and relatives, fraud is typically perpetrated by strangers. When it comes to financial abuse, it is advisable to be ken on behavioral changes because with behavior, you can always notice certain specific signs that will serve as warnings and indications that the older adults are vulnerable in matters finance. They include:
- Poor physical health
Those who are physically compromised are unlikely to be focused on financial matters. They are often vulnerable to swindles. This is because most of their focus will be concerning their physical health therefore they will e distracted from financial visions and goals.
- Cognitive impairment
This refers to the inability to do basic things like reading a banking statement or balance a checkbook. When this ability is compromised or rather declines, that’s when you have to pay attention because it forms the pre-ample of what is really to come. Those with declining math skills will not be asking important questions about new investing “opportunities.”
- Difficulty in activities of daily living
Activities such as feeding oneself, taking a bath or even doing basic shopping are done daily and form part of everyday life. When someone demonstrates difficulty or inability in performing such activities, then this is an indication of incapability in managing their finances.
- Social isolation
You may notice that they seem rather withdrawn in that they spend most of their time alone. This means that they are short of peer network support. Peers may be very instrumental in warning the older adults about impending scams. What this basically means is that having reliable social relationships with family or friends can significantly reduce chances of financial exploitation and therefore abuse. The rest may be involved in assessing whether or not there is an impending swindle. Older people that are embedded in reliable social networks have reduced chances of elder mistreatment. This is because people often act as watch dogs for each other in an effort to protect each other.