Reports indicate that financial exploitation of the elderly is increasing, particularly while seniors and other vulnerable adults have been more isolated due to Covid restrictions. The following indications are meant to alert you to conditions that an elderly person may find themselves in but for which you may have good intentions, such as protections from Covid:
No Access to Others: Limiting access to older people provides more opportunities for perpetrators to take advantage of the elderly who are no longer able to remain connected with family members who truly care for them.
Being of Use to Someone Else: A person hoping to exploit an elderly person can use reasons to make them feel useful, either through “mentorship” or seeking financial help, such as for a new mom with a little baby, needing food for young children, or scaring an older person that a terrible thing will happen if this person is not helped.
Depression: The extended periods of being alone also increased the rate of depression among older adults.
The above conditions create the perfect storm for bad actors to work their way into an older person’s life as the “only person who cares anymore.” Consider ways you can mitigate the effects of Covid restrictions on the elderly and other vulnerable adults in your family. Be proactive about keeping in close contact on a frequent basis; ask questions; spend time with them virtually, if possible, or take advantage of the Covid tests available for free or at minimal cost in order to visit in person; and, keep tabs on their financial accounts.
If you have concerns about a family member being exploited for financial reasons, please contact our office at 248.477.6300, and we can put you in contact with the proper resources.