The FBI claims fraud against seniors could be much more widespread than we once believed. From telemarketing scams to fake invoices, a single mistake can easily end up costing your senior loved one tens of thousands of dollars.
If your loved one has an age-related medical condition that causes cognitive decline, such as dementia, it can leave him or her even more vulnerable to scammers. A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of Altamonte Springs. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life.
While there is no way to make your loved one completely impervious to financial scams, here are some quick and easy steps you can take to reduce his or her risk.
Contact the Direct Marketing Association
This organization is responsible for much of the junk mail that is sent to seniors, which includes some of the letters sent by scam artists. Caregivers can go on the Direct Marketing Association website to remove their loved ones from junk mail lists. While this will not stop all the letters your loved one receives, it should cut down the amount of junk mail by quite a bit. You can also add your loved one’s name to the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce the number of solicitation phone calls he or she receives.
Discuss the Dangers of Fraud
Many seniors fall for scams because they are unfamiliar with some of the modern tricks and tactics criminals use. Instead of blaming your loved one for mistakes, have a conversation with him or her about how some of the common scams work. Explain that organizations such as the IRS won’t call your loved one directly if he or she owes them money. Unsolicited offers and unusual bills must also be ignored until your loved one finds out exactly who sent them.
Avoid Investments That Seem Too Good to Be True
Another way scam artists prey on seniors is by offering huge returns on unusual investments. They typically target seniors for these investments because many older adults have nest eggs they can easily liquidate and turn into cash. Legitimate companies will always tell their investors about potential risks and will rarely give any guarantees on the returns. While investing some of their money might help them in the future, seniors shouldn’t gamble on any risky ventures that seem too good to be true.
Try Reverse Psychology
A 2011 study published in the journal Social Influence revealed that reverse psychology can be used on people who continue to fall for scams. As an alternative to scolding them, caregivers might want to ask their loved ones how they can invest some of their own money. For many seniors, this will probably trigger a response that compels them to protect those closest to them. This tactic doesn’t work for every situation, but it might help your loved one see the error of his or her ways if he or she is considering making an ill-advised financial move.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Cognitive decline can play a major role in many scams directed toward seniors, which is why you need to take steps to preserve your loved one’s brain health. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage him or her to socialize as often as possible. You can also suggest to your loved one that he or she take up different mentally stimulating hobbies like doing puzzles, whittling, and painting.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Orlando families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder home care. Windermere families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call a qualified Care Manager at (407) 232-7155 to learn about our senior home care services and to schedule a free in-home consultation.