A recent ElderCare Locator guide for seniors reported approximately 5 million seniors are financially exploited each year. Although awareness of the problem is growing, the actual number of affected seniors may still be rising. According to some reports, upwards of $3 billion dollars are taken from seniors by criminals and con artists every year. Considering the modest budgets with which many seniors live, even a theft of small amounts could have significant impacts on their livelihood. Seniors that live at home with the help of a reliable homecare system and homecare software will want to be extra careful of their finances this holiday season.
Financial Exploitation on the Rise
The factors contributing to the increase of financial exploitation are many. In addition, there are several reasons why the elderly are targeted.
• Continued volatility of the economy
• High unemployment rates and job loss
• The growth of the senior population
• Cognitive decline as seniors age
Financial exploitation is not just about money. The bigger issue is how we can keep seniors safe from any kind of elder abuse. Families that are looking for part-time or full-time assistance caring for elderly loved ones should make sure the agency they work with offers an innovative homecare system or homecare software, such as ClearCare, that provides real-time visibility to patients’ point-of-care.
Who is Most at Risk
While financial exploitation can happen to anyone, older ones make prime targets. Those who are most at risk include:
• Seniors who live alone, without family members or care providers to check in
• Those who have just lost a spouse who handled financial matters
• Seniors in long-term care settings, like nursing homes
Although there is no fail-safe way to prevent all cases of fraud or abuse, one key element is proper observation and support. Those who are most likely to be harmed are the ones who have little to no outside support; and these are also the ones who are least likely to ask for help when needed. This means it is important for families and care providers to be proactive and get involved.
How a Homecare System Can Help Protect Seniors
As we mentioned, seniors who live alone make ideal targets for criminals. Without proper observation – or others checking in on a regular basis – financial exploitation may not only occur, it may go on for months without notice. This is why a dependable homecare system and homecare software, like ClearCare, is so valuable. Regular visits from a care provider make the elderly less attractive targets for financial abuse. ClearCare’s web-based homecare software also gives families the opportunity to “look in” on their loved one’s care from anywhere, at anytime. Family members can verify that the caregiver is indeed at the home of their relative as scheduled, so there is no chance of paying for services that aren’t being rendered.
If you have concerns about financial exploitation, or are worried that the seniors in your life may be at risk, now is the time to take action. Don’t wait until tragedy strikes; have protections and safeguards already in place. For more information on how ClearCare’s homecare system and homecare software can be included among such safeguards, call one of our friendly representatives today.