Having an elderly loved one can mean that younger people need to take on a caretaker role. In many cases, elderly individuals still have the physical and mental capacity to live the majority of their daily lives without assistance. However, you may have an elderly loved one showing signs of mental decline or who is otherwise in a vulnerable state, especially to falling victim to fraudulent scams.
Unfortunately, many unscrupulous parties prey on elderly people for financial gain. Elder fraud is a serious issue, and many older individuals may simply not realize when they are being told false information or when someone is impersonating an authority figure. Are you worried that your loved one has or could become a victim of elder fraud?
Ask these questions
If you want to determine whether your loved one is at risk and find ways to lessen the risk of elder fraud, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your loved one isolated? If you, other family members or friends rarely check in with your elderly loved one, the chances are greater that he or she could fall victim to elder fraud.
- Has your loved one made poor decisions? Unfortunately, the ability to make sound choices declines as people age, and if your loved one has made poor choices recently, it is possible that someone could take advantage of that diminished ability.
- Does your loved one have a trusting nature? Many older people want to believe that others have good intentions, and as a result, your loved one may trust that a person is telling the truth when that may not be the case.
Of course, other factors could potentially put your loved one at a higher risk of facing fraudulent actions, but you could help prevent such outcomes by regularly checking in with your loved one, monitoring his or her decision-making skills, and reminding him or her that not everyone has good intentions. In some cases, if a loved one has reached a point of substantial mental decline, considering guardianship or conservatorship may be wise.
What can you do about elder fraud?
If someone has already victimized your loved one, you may worry about what it will mean for him or her. Fortunately, you may have the ability to address this serious matter through legal avenues. Contacting a Texas attorney experienced in this area of law may help you better understand available options.