Your parents protected you when you were young with advice and example. Look both ways before crossing the street, never speak to strangers, and a host of other suggestions were meant to protect you. Sadly, our parents reach a point where they need us to protect them!
Here are six suggestions to protect your parents from scams and schemes:
1. Ask or discuss with your parents who has durable power of attorney.
2. Register your parents’ telephone numbers with the National Do Not Call registry (www.donotcall.gov).
3. Discuss with them the list of common frauds (see The Boomer Burden, chapter 7). Ask them to contact you if they suspect anyone is trying to defraud them.
4. Ask your parents to contact you if anyone offers to buy any of their possessions.
5. Make sure a family member personally visits your parents on a weekly basis. If this is a challenge and you have other siblings, take turns.
The National Center for Elder Abuse is an excellent resource for information on financial and other forms of abuse against senior citizens. It publishes reports and conducts research on this growing problem. NCEA’s mission is to promote understanding, knowledge sharing, and action on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Its web site also offers links to other excellent resources and organizations also devoted to protecting senior citizens. Their web site is www.ncea.aoa.gov.
Honor your parents by standing between them and anyone who sees them as an easy target.
© 2009 Julie Hall