As our loved ones age, they become increasingly vulnerable to scams and financial exploitation. But did you know family caregivers can play a crucial role in safeguarding elders from these threats? Let us share seven practical ideas to help protect aging elders from scams right here on our blog that we share with all of our clients, colleagues, and friends.

  1. Help educate about common scams. Make sure your aging loved ones are aware of the most common scams targeting seniors. This includes phone scams, email phishing, and fraudulent investment opportunities. Regularly have a conversation with them on new types of scams and emphasize the importance of skepticism towards unsolicited offers.


  1. Monitor financial activity. If they will let you, regularly review bank statements, credit reports, and financial transactions for any unusual activity. You can also set up alerts with banks and credit card companies to notify you of large withdrawals or unusual spending patterns. This can help detect and prevent fraudulent activities early.


  1. Implement legal safeguards. Ensure your elder’s California estate planning documents are current and comprehensive. This includes powers of attorney, last will and testaments, and trust agreements. These documents can authorize a trusted family member or attorney to manage their finances, reducing the risk of exploitation. An experienced estate planning attorney can ensure these documents are tailored to your elder’s needs and California laws.


  1. Use technology wisely. Consider installing security software on their devices to protect against malware and phishing attempts. You can help by teaching them to recognize suspicious emails and websites. Additionally, consider setting up a family email account that you can monitor for any fraudulent activity.


  1. Leverage Medi-Cal benefits. Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, offers various benefits that can help protect your elder’s financial and healthcare interests as you help them find ways to afford the high costs of long-term care. By working with an experienced California elder law attorney, you can help navigate the complexities of Medi-Cal, ensuring your loved one receives all eligible benefits while protecting their assets from potential scammers.


  1. Encourage open communication. Create an environment where your aging loved one feels comfortable discussing any suspicious activities or offers they encounter. Establish regular, weekly check-ins with them and encourage them to share any concerns they might have. This open line of communication can be crucial in preventing scams.


  1. Work with an experienced attorney. A California elder law attorney can provide valuable guidance and support in protecting your aging loved one from scams. They can help create and maintain up-to-date estate planning documents, offer advice on managing finances, and ensure compliance with California laws. Additionally, they can assist in understanding and maximizing Medi-Cal benefits, providing peace of mind for both caregivers and elders.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers.  In addition to being vigilant against scams, it’s essential to ensure that legal and financial protections are in place. This means maintaining up-to-date estate planning documents and understanding the benefits and complexities of programs like Medi-Cal. By partnering with an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney, caregivers can better navigate these challenges, providing a secure environment for their aging loved ones and peace of mind for themselves. Do you have questions? We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our office is here for you and your loved ones. Please call us to schedule a meeting time.