Today's senior citizens are enjoying long, productive retirements thanks to advances in health care technology and increased information about how diet and exercise impacts overall health. Significant numbers of seniors are also choosing to age in place, and many of them hire caregivers, housekeepers, or drivers to help them out with the daily tasks of everyday life so that they can relax and enjoy their retirement. Most of these people provide excellent services and are dedicated and trustworthy. However, unscrupulous types have been known to target senior citizens for the purpose of nefarious financial gain. Following are three indications that your senior loved one is being targeted by a scammer.
Odd Items on Receipts
Whoever is doing the shopping for the senior should be leaving receipts in a designated area. Checking them often for items that seem out of place, like tobacco or alcohol products when your senior doesn't indulge, can alert you to the possibility of financial abuse.
Calling in Sick on Monday Mornings
If the caregiver or other service provider has developed a pattern of calling in sick on Mondays, this could be a sign that the person suffers from alcohol or drug addiction. Because those with substance abuse issues frequently go on benders over the weekend, being too sick to work on Mondays on a regular basis is a classic sign of addiction. Although this doesn't prove that the person is taking financial advantage of your senior, those with alcohol and chemical dependencies often steal to fuel their addictions. Also, seniors sometimes have prescription drugs that are attractive to those with serious substance abuse issues. Be sure to check the medicine cabinet often.
The Relationship With the Senior Seems Overly Personal
Naturally, you want those who take care of your senior loved one to be pleasant and caring people, but it's nonetheless a professional relationship. Watch for signs that things are becoming overly personal, and be particularly on the alert if your senior mentions the person's financial difficulties, sick relatives, or family problems. There is no reason for those who provide services in your senior's home to be discussing personal issues, and this may be a sign that the person has been or is planning to ask the senior for financial assistance.
Sometimes, you can't put your finger on exactly what it is about a certain situation that feels wrong, but don't brush the feeling off. Although you don't want to come across as overly suspicious, follow your instincts and keep a discreet but close eye on the situation. Contact a lawyer, like Cormac McEnery, if you need more help.