Elder Abuse is sometimes called “the crime of the century”. Elderly people experience a normal aging process and decline in memory. Someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is even more challenged with attending to financial issues, especially as the disease progresses.
Financial abuse of the elderly is often a result of betrayal by someone close to the elderly person. It could be a family member, a professional caregiver, or an unknown solicitor.
No matter who the perpetrator might be, if you are aware of the abuse, it MUST be reported. Law enforcement has a specific form that can be completed anonymously.
A Person who is a victim of financial abuse and is suffering from Alzheimer’s is most often not able to protect his/her own finances. The cognitive ability used for addressing financial situations occurs early in the disease.
Thus, a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is not only at a greater risk for being abused financially, but it is imperative that his/her financial assets be monitored by a trusted source. This could be a family member or financial institution.
The Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit investor education organization, works to educate doctors, nurses and other frontline medical professionals to recognize when an elderly client becomes vulnerable to, or victims of financial abuse.
Let us remember, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing rapidly. Trusted family members, family physicians and personal financial advisors are the key people necessary to take the responsibility of keeping the elderly safe from this type abuse.
Where to get help:
Elder Financial Safety Center: The center helps older adults avoid the dangers of financial uncertainty and exploitation. Their contact number is 214-525-6130 or 214-823-15700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority: The regulatory body of the securities industry has a toll-free help line for senior investors. Call 844-574-3577.
The North American Securities Administrators Association: The association’s Senior Investor Resource Center provides tools to help senior investors protect themselves from investment fraud. www.nasaa.org/1723/senior-investor-resource-center
The Texas State Securities Board: The state regulator provides advice on how seniors can protect themselves from fraud. www.texasinvestored.org/senior