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Elder Financial Abuse during COVID-19

Among the scariest and most heartbreaking things that can happen to an elder person is when they are taken advantage of financially. In a time when they should be enjoying retirement and the clear-headed relaxation of elderhood, it is especially traumatizing to have your financial status manipulated or taken advantage of. As geriatric care managers, we here at Senior Steps are well aware of the risks and the dangers of financial abuse on our clients. As singular advocates for our clients, we are focused on the well-being (health AND otherwise) and overall quality of life for all of our clients. Our work includes assisting in navigating elder finances and retirement funds throughout the healthcare process.

Elder abuse is a real danger and hiring a care manager is one of the best ways you can protect either yourself or an elder loved one.

Especially in this time of isolation and quarantine resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important for us as geriatric care managers and family members of elder persons to be aware of the dangers of financial abuse that can occur with our elder relatives or clients. Because of the isolation and lack of social interaction that normally occurs in an open and non-quarantined community, it is harder for elder persons and their families to get immediate feedback and realization of an inappropriate financial situation. Whereas during normal times, an elder person being slowly drained of their financial resources by a malicious person would often have the opportunity to interface with peers, friends, and family (and perhaps get their feedback and assistance), during these unprecedented events many elder persons are left more on their own than before.

Even in cases where an elder person may have full cognitive function, be able to drive themselves, dress themselves, pay their own bills, it is dangerously easy for elders and their families.

As geriatric care managers, we here at Senior Steps maintain a constant vigilance and awareness of the health and wellbeing of our clients. This includes checking in with them on a consistent basis, assessing their disposition and ability to engage, and offering advice, education and advocacy for complicated and at times confusing issues. A GCM can absolutely mitigate the risks of the tragedy of elder financial abuse, and here at Senior Steps we keep it our top priority to make sure our clients are secure and safe in their wellness, happiness, and financial safety.

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