The holidays are a time of many get togethers. Many people travel to spend the holidays with their family. Those who are lucky to have family close by are busy planning dinners and get togethers with loved ones.
This is a good time to check up on loved ones, especially those that are elderly. Unfortunately, many people take advantage of the elderly. We see this often. We have heard so many stories of caregivers, neighbors, and supposed “friends” who take advantage of older people. This can happen for a few reasons. First, an older person can suffer from diminished capacity. Maybe they are not as sharp anymore and some people prey on that. Another reason this can happen is because older people can get very lonely and they start thinking that they do not want to alienate whoever is paying attention to them. Regardless of the reason, it happens way too often and we need to be vigilant with our loved ones.
Pay attention to what your elderly relative says. Are they mentioning new names you have not heard before? Are there new people coming by their house?
We had a client who was a lovely man. He was a veteran whose kids lived out of state. He had a live in caregiver. He starts to tell me that the caregiver’s son had suddenly moved into his house and that he felt bad so he was helping them. Then he starts saying that he was paying for some of their bills, and so on. This is how it starts. Sadly, our client passed away and when his kids came for the services they discovered many valuables had just disappeared from their dad’s house, including his many war medals. WWII medals that should have been a priceless heirloom given to children or grandchildren to remember their grandfather were gone.
Maybe this could have been avoided had a family member stepped in to monitor that situation.
Incapacity can happen at any time. This is why it is imperative that your loved ones have valid documents in place so that you can step in and take care of them. Documents like powers of attorney, health care surrogates, wills and trusts ensure that we can protect our loved ones with no court involvement.
The holidays are a time for family and friends. Make sure your family is taken care of. If you need help, call us. We are here.