A number of news articles and reports on elder financial abuse do a good job of highlighting the growing problem of older adults being targeted for financial theft and fraud. This study by MetLife lists the types of financial predation towards seniors that can and do happen.
What tends to be missing from these studies is a more in depth understanding on what has changed in the life of an older adult that may make him or her more vulnerable to financial exploitation. One of the main changes can be the onset of short term memory loss associated with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Memory changes in loved ones to look for include new difficulties in calculating tips and change, and forgetting to pay bills. A key point here is that a sustained negative change in handling personal finances should be a cause for concern. A free Alzheimer’s – Dementia Symptom Checklist can be completed online here, and also downloaded for later reference.