About a year ago, I gave my blog readers the following suggestions about protecting our parents and other elderly relatives. Occasional news stories continue to sadden and disturb me, as another elderly, well-meaning person falls victim to a clever scam or scheme. Please review these suggestions, and pass this information along to others, so together we can protect our elderly family and friends.
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.
6. Reduce junk mail for a small fee by going to either of these web sites: www.stopthejunkmail.com and http://mailstopper.tonic.com.
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.
© 2010 Julie Hall