Protecting Elders with Memory Loss
One of the most difficult aspects of aging loved ones is the onset of memory and cognition issues. While it may not impact all seniors, the majority have to deal with some level of dementia, Alzheimer’s or other neurological condition. For close family and friends, this can be heartbreaking, and is a call for renewed vigor in looking after the senior. This makes it all the more troubling that there are some out there who view it as the perfect opportunity to strike.
Sadly, elder abusers are often known to their victims, and they take advantage of this relationship to convince intellectually compromised seniors to give them gifts, access to bank accounts, or powers of attorney, and to amend wills and trusts to reward them when they pass away. Non-family, such as financial advisers or brokers may step in to fill the void left by absent family, and use to opportunity to sell products or services that don’t benefit the elder. For families that are spread across a wide area, it often falls to the geographically closest member to care for a parent or relative, and if that person can’t properly care for them, it can be difficult for other family members to find out or prevent it.
The best weapon against this kind of elder abuse is planning, transparency, and involvement. While it’s never easy talking about wills, money, or powers of attorney, it becomes almost impossible, and far messier, to do so after a seniors starts having symptoms of dementia. Having a will, trust, and POA in place well before that point, and discussing the issue openly with family and friends can help prevent misunderstandings and mistrust that can easily arise in these situations. In the experience of our San Francisco elder Abuse attorneys, having a family that can form a united front against abuse is indispensable in securing the senior’s welfare.
In addition, it is essential that family and friends stay involved in the senior’s life as much as possible. Many of the worst case scenarios occur when a senior is left alone with a malefactor, who then has time to weasel their way into a senior’s trust and affections, when they might have been found out and prevented from doing so earlier.
If you or a loved one thinks they may have been the victim of financial or physical elder abuse, contact the Evans Law firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our San Francisco Elder Abuse attorneys have experience resolving elder abuse situations in civil and probate court, as well as handling nursing home and caretaker abuse.