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How to Help Elderly People Avoid Scams

By , 9:00 am on

Seniors are the targets of scammers that use kindness for their personal gain. There are many scams in action today, and your aging loved one is at risk for being targeted by a nefarious telemarketer, door-to-door salesman, or even an email campaign. While you might not be able to stop every scammer from contacting your loved one, you can use the following strategies to make sure he or she prevents the scams from being successful.

Know the Risk Factors

Scammers tend to target people who fall within specific demographics. For instance, scammers who attempt to act as a charity or medical organization collecting money often target people over the age of 65. Seniors are also at risk if they live alone since they may not have someone else to ask about a potential scam, and those who have dementia may not be able to identify a sales pitch as a scam. Being aware of the risk factors gives you a starting point for addressing each one so your loved one is less attractive to scammers.

Apart from being susceptible to scams, seniors can face a variety of other challenges as they age. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Birmingham elder care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Use Positive Language

If your loved one has been scammed before, it is important to avoid placing blame on his or her behavior. Making your loved one feel ashamed for the mistake may cause him or her to avoid coming to you with other concerns in the future. Instead of blaming your loved one, use positive language to discuss a few of the ways to detect a scam. For instance, your loved one should never have to pay money to receive lottery winnings, and banks typically do not request personal information over the phone since they already know your loved one’s account number.

Stay on Top of the Latest News Regarding Scams

Scams are constantly being developed, and knowing which ones are going around can help you talk to your loved one about how to avoid them. Read or watch the local and national news and talk to other caregivers to find out the latest scams in your community. You can also use recent holidays or events to watch for potential scams. For instance, your loved one is more likely to be approached by scammers posing as the IRS during the tax season, whereas scams based on charitable causes tend to increase around the holidays.

From avoiding scams to performing basic housekeeping tasks, older adults may need help with an array of tasks. If your senior loved one needs hourly or 24-hour care, Birmingham Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Develop Ground Rules

Even the most intelligent and cautious senior can fall for a scam. However, you can stop this from happening by establishing a few ground rules for how your loved one manages his or her finances and household responsibilities. For example, you can suggest that your loved one never answer the door to a stranger since it could be a scammer posing as a salesperson. Your loved one should also be warned to abstain from giving out personal information over the phone.

Keep Trusted Company Around

Loneliness can cause a senior to be willing to talk to anyone, even a potential scammer. A senior who is isolated may also lose large sums of money before anyone notices. For this reason, your loved one benefits from having a companion who can watch out for potential scams. By keeping an eye out for warning signs of scams, a trusted companion serves as a safeguard for your loved one’s financial security.

Protection from scams is not the only thing older adults need to enjoy a high quality of life. To successfully age in place, some seniors require the help of a professional caregiver. Families rely on Home Care Assistance Birmingham to provide caregivers who are expertly trained in various aspects of senior home care, including our holistic Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program focused on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental and social stimulation, and calmness and purpose. To learn about our premier in-home care options, give us a call at (205) 438-6927 today.