Social Isolation and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
When you think about social isolation, it is likely that financial exploitation is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, social isolation plays a large part in personal finance, particularly in connection with scams and fraud of older adults who live at home alone.
People are more susceptible to scams when they are socially isolated according to research from the FINRA foundation. Because of this and the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors have not only had to face serious medical risks, but also have been challenged by the overwhelming social isolation that comes with quarantining – making seniors who age in place at home more susceptible to scams and fraud.
The FINRA Foundation also found that victims of scams expressed a significantly higher level of loneliness, making seniors a prime target for scammers since they are more likely to be surviving spouses and have lack of frequent contact with family members. Furthermore, people who had no one to discuss the scam with, were more often victimized resulting in financial exploitation.
These findings highlight the importance of maintaining contact with your loved ones who are choosing to age in place at home, and ensuring that you are at aware of any major financial decisions by older adults in your family. By caring for elderly parents in this manner, you can decrease the risk that a senior family member becomes a victim of a scam or financial abuse.
The National Cost of Elderly Financial Abuse
Financial abuse of elders has become one of the largest categories of crimes in the United States. Seniors across the country are being financially exploited to the tune of approximately 2.9 billion dollars annually according to the Government Accountability Office. This amount of financial loss shows the severity of financial abuse among seniors and the need to diligently provide help for the elderly living at home. In recognition of the pervasiveness of this problem, June 15th, 2021 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day of recognition was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
What You Can Do to Help Prevent Elderly Financial Abuse
As the COVID-19 pandemic gradually subsides, it is important to make sure you are checking in with elderly family members and making them feel socially involved. It is vital to remember that scammers try to target people when they are most vulnerable, and that social support is essential in caring for seniors and counteracting this vulnerability.
SilverBills helps protect against elderly financial abuse by providing a personal bill management service. SilverBills’ U.S. based Account Managers will track and monitor bills and ensure your bills are paid correctly. By working with SilverBills, you or your loved ones can rest assured that each bill is scrutinized for errors and fraudulent activity and charges. To get started with our service, give us a call at 866-653-4427.