The elderly population is amongst the most vulnerable for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they are often trusting of relatives and friends -- and some are afraid of living alone, so they endure repeated abuse. Sometimes, an elderly person is not aware that they are being abused, so it’s important to share the telltale signs of abuse with anyone you know that is over the age of 65.
- Financial Vulnerability: Often, the elderly are taken advantage of when it comes to finances. Here are some steps to take to prevent financial abuse.
- Do not give anyone access to your bank account pin number or other details
- Do not allow anyone to use your credit cards
- Never sign any documents you do not understand (we will happily look these over for you!).
- Do not cosign any loans (house, car, etc.)
- Please do not feel obliged to loan money to anyone or sign any papers financially supporting anyone.
- Keep your power of attorney documents up to date (relationships change)
- Your Health: It’s important to make sure that your health is protected and secure when you are past a certain age. Before you make any major decisions, consider the following:
- Think about whether or not you really want to move in with someone or have a caretaker move in with you. What will that mean to your independence? Will it be a healthy relationship?
- Do you need to move into a much smaller condo or home, or can you hire someone to come and help you on a semi-weekly basis?
- Get involved in your community - build networks of friends, activities, and volunteer positions, so that people can check in on you and so that you have a good quality of life.
- Make sure to move! Join an exercise class, go for walks, do something that will keep your body moving every day.
Know Your Rights
This is the most important thing to do -- know what your rights are as a senior and know how to exercise them. You do not need to have someone live with you, nobody can take away your freedom, you do not need to move into a home, and you do have recourse if someone is being abused or if you think you are taking advantage of. If you feel that you are being treated unjustly, make sure to call our offices today. We work with elderly abuse cases and we will make sure that you are within your rights and protected immediately.