In observance of World Elder Abuse Day on June 15, the ABA Foundation today issued a press release with steps older Americans and their caregivers can take to prevent financial abuse, which is estimated to cost seniors $2.9 billion each year.
ABA recommended that seniors work with a banker or financial advisor to plan ahead to protect their assets; choose a trustworthy person to act as their agent in estate planning matters; check references and credentials before hiring a caregiver; and to contact their local adult protective services agency if they feel they have been the victims of abuse. In addition, seniors should take care to not give out personal information over the phone, be wary of common scams targeting older adults, keep a paper trail of financial transactions by paying with a credit card and take their time when making financial decisions.
“Americans 50 years and older control more than 70 percent of our nation’s wealth, making them prime targets for exploitation,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “One of the first steps toward prevention is to have conversations with the important people in your life, including your banker, about how you can work together to safeguard your money and personal information.”
ABA is committed to leading the charge against fighting the financial exploitation of older Americans through its Safe Banking for Seniors program, which provides free resources to help bankers educate seniors and their caregivers. Carlisle will speak about ABA’s efforts at the upcoming World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.