Elder Financial Abuse Hits Home

April 14, 2011

Dad’s hopes for huge financial gains came up empty and he lost every penny of the money that he ‘invested’. Yes, my Father was the victim of elder financial abuse. Worse still, he was victimized right under our noses!

A financial marketer for investing in IPOs had been contacting my Dad for years to gain Dad’s trust. Well, trust, a shady (but legal) investment deal and the word ‘yes’ from my Dad finally intersected.

A critical mass of sorts had been reached. The financial IPO marketer had gained my father’s trust. And my Dad’s dementia had progressed far enough for Dad to freely commit to a bad deal with this now ‘trusted’ advisor. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t realize that there was a need to intervene. But, I guess the fact neither of my parent’s had told us that Dad had been suffering from dementia for some years had something to do with it!! Of course, nor did they tell us that over time that with dementia Dad’s judgement would likely become impaired. Without this knowledge I thought that Dad was just ‘playing along with’ the marketers like he had been for years instead of ‘being played by’ them. The tables had turned.

Let me tell you some of the things to look out for:

  • Constant phone calls with offers to invest in IPOs (or other investments)
  • Pre-paid overnight delivery mailers arriving at home with a pre-paid overnight return envelope for ‘your check’
  • The marketer gets to be on a ‘first name’ basis with your elderly loved one
  • The marketer refers to your elderly loved one as Uncle xxx or Aunt xxx as if they were a part of his family 
  • Your family keeps ‘heath status’ changes a secret
  • Dementia, Alzheimer’s or cognitive diseases run in your family

I know that had Dad’s judgement been ‘normal’ he would have never ‘fallen for’ one of the IPO deals. So, do keep your eyes and ears open.

 Don’t let the collision of aggressive IPO investment marketing and cognitive impairment meet at your family’s front door.

About Jane Nowak, CFP® – MoneyGal2020

Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with a focus on Women’s Retirement and Financial Planning for Women. Located in NW Atlanta suburbs Jane’s goal is to educate and empower women to take control of their daily finances so they can fully fund their retirement dreams and needs. Jane has recently had articles published or been quoted in articles published on-line at  NASDAQ, Womenetics.com, Fox Business News, Smart Money Chicks and Financial Planning Association websites.

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, Inc. Member, FINRA/SIPC

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Have aging loved ones? Suspect Abuse?

April 12, 2011

Have aging loved ones? Suspect Elder Abuse? Report It. @komonews http://ow.ly/4qLSY All types of elder abuse are on the rise.


Elder Abuse – Financial Style

April 2, 2011

You might be wondering why I’m writing about elder abuse on a financial blog, right? Unfortunately, all types of elder abuse are on the rise in lock step with our aging population -including financial abuse. Regarding abuse of our seniors, in a study done by MetLife in 2009, only 1 in 6 cases of  elder abuse is even reported. And, in dollar terms alone, the estimated losses from reported cases of elder abuse adds up to whopping $2.6 billion per year. So, what  is being reported is just the tip of the iceberg.

From a health care point of view the concerns are multiple. The early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s often go undetected by friends and family members. The number of cases of Alzheimer’s in our population is on the rise. And, these cognitive diseases whether diagnosed or not diagnosed can make our seniors even more vulnerable as targets for emotional, verbal, physical and financial abuse.

Recently actor Mickey Rooney, now 90 years old testified to Congress about the alleged financial abuse that he suffered at the hands of his stepson. Rooney a fixture on the American screen since the 1920’s is quoted as saying “If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.”

When it comes to elder financial abuse, what are some specific things that you should be on the look out for? 

  • Disaster-home repair fraud after a tornado, flood, hurricane etc.
  • Price gouging for goods and services
  • Unscrupulous charities
  • Unusual changes to financial situation
  • Monthly bills going unpaid
  • Changes to wills, trusts or powers of attorney
  • Lottery scams

Frankly, the list is potentially endless. The ‘bad guys’ and their scams are coming after our seniors from all over the world via telephone, U. S. mail, email and the internet. And, sadly, sometimes the ‘bad guys’ come in the form of  trusted care givers and family members.

What can you do?

  • Keep an eye out for your parents, grandparents,elder friends and family members
  • Be aware of changes in their financial, emotional and mental health
  • If cognitive diseases run in your family, plan ahead on how you are going to deal with financial and health care issues that will come up due to dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Be ready to take appropriate action
  • Use the National Elder Care Locator if you need a starting place for available resources www.eldercare.gov 1-800-677-1116
  • In Georgia to learn about available resources contact the Georgia Department of Human Services

About Jane Nowak, CFP® – MoneyGal2020

Jane Nowak  is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with a focus on Women’s Retirement and Financial Planning for Women. Located in Smyrna, GA, Jane’s goal is to educate and empower women to take control of their daily finances so they can fully fund their retirement dreams and needs. Jane has recently had articles quoted and published on-line at the NASDAQ, Womenetics.com, Smart Money Chicks, Fox Business, Credit Cards and Financial Planning Association websites.

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, Inc. Member, FINRA/SIPC


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