It’s awful to think that you or a loved one might be targeted simply because of age or declining health. Whether you want to protect yourself or an older family member, there are steps you can take to safeguard against this.
Speak to a solicitor about LPAs and wills
Legal documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and a Will can help to make an elderly person’s finances less vulnerable to abuse.
If you haven’t yet made these important legal documents, we recommend that you speak to a solicitor about doing so. If you do already have a Will or LPA in place, you may wish to review them with a solicitor to ensure they’re still valid and up to date.
Know the signs to look out for with fraudulent phone calls/emails
Elderly people are more likely to be targeted by fraudsters as they often assume older people will be less able to spot the signs of a scam. You can counteract this by familiarising yourself or your loved one with common types of fraud and how to avoid them. Age UK have some excellent resources available for this.
Choose and monitor carers carefully
If you or your elderly relative require care, either in the home or in a care facility, it will be important to make sure you carefully consider all the options available.
The majority of care providers take their responsibilities very seriously, but close family members should still expect to play a key role in engaging with care plans and monitoring how successfully they are being carried out.
Keep an eye out for warning signs
One of the best ways to protect elderly relatives from financial abuse is to keep in regular contact and look out for warning signs. These could include:
- Changes in spending habits
- Additional names being added to bank accounts
- Cash withdrawals that can’t be explained
- Unpaid bills
- Reluctance to talk openly about their financial situation
- Sudden interest from friends or family members who have not previously been very involved
- Reluctance to spend money on usual expenses
- Heightened levels of stress and anxiety