Elder abuse comes in many different forms, ranging from financial scams of an almost infinite variety to physical force or neglect. The elderly are such a vulnerable segment of the population, it is vital for each of us to watch closely after the elderly in our lives to protect them against fraudulent or other abusive forms of behavior. Following are some suggestions to try and minimize elder abuse:
- Take active involvement in their affairs, both financial and physically. Take the time to know their caregivers and whom they are spending their time with. Talk to them about their finances so that you can gauge their level of understanding as to their assets and how funds are being spent.
- Assuming they have the mental capacity to execute, ensure that they have up-to-date and effective documentation that appoints trustworthy people as their agents. A durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and advance directive are the minimum. These should be executed and presented to relevant parties (for example, financial institutions) so that they can recognize if a later, conflicting document is presented.
- The state of Texas has the Adult Protection Agency in which you can report suspicious activity. Sadly, they have more cases to investigate than manpower to do, so don’t call just once – keep calling until you reach someone to voice your concerns. They can be reached at 800.252.5400 or, in the instance of a true emergency, 9-1-1.
This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.