April 1, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
The major retirement planning mistakes Why are they made again and again? Annual financial to-do list Retirement planning weak spots; they are all too common The SECURE Act Adjusting your portfolio as you age When is Social Security income taxable? Debunking a few retirement myths Retirees, check your withholding Underappreciated options for building retirement savings Social Security gets its big boost No, that is not the I.R.S. calling Is Gen X preparing adequately for retirement Tax scams and schemes Diversification, patience and consistency The high cost of health care TOD or living trust? Coping with an inheritance Three key questions to answer before taking Social Security The financial realities of longevity Systematic withdrawal strategies Managing risk in your portfolio Will you avoid these estate planning mistakes? Cybersecurity for the at home customer Fixed index annuities Getting a head start on college savings New I.R.S. contribution limits The different types of IRAs Annuities for retirement income Annuities for retirement income What prospective annuity holders should consider Build your rainy day fund Details people should know about Medicare Five retirement concerns too often overlooked Investing means tolerating some risk Your diversified portfolio vs. S&P 500 Making a charitable gift from your IRA Smart financial moves in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s Unrealized loss and gain What they are; why they matter. Making investment decisions Do your investments match your risk tolerance? Helping your parents manage financial tasks Taking charge of your financial life Roth IRA conversions What are your options? Major risks to family wealth The gift tax Not all gifts are taxable. Rebalancing your portfolio Reducing the risk of outliving your money That first RMD from your IRA. What you need to know Tax efficiency What it means; why it counts Your changing definition of risk in retirement 2019 IRA deadlines are approaching Retirement plans for individuals & businesses A retirement fact sheet Annual financial to-do list Things you can do for your future as the year unfolds. College funding options Ways to ease college costs Turn your intent into a commitment, set goals as you save and invest Managing money well as a couple Preparing to retire single Tax efficiency in retirement Set goals as you save and invest Could assumptions harm your retirement strategy? A retirement gender gap for women Bad money habits to break Have you budgeted for retirement? Saving your elderly parents from financial fraud Mutual Funds vs. ETFs; similarities and differences. What should you keep? Long-term investing truths: Key lessons for retirement savers Where will your retirement money come from? Retiring in the next 5 years? Catching up on retirement saving Money tips for newlyweds Retirement and adult children The retirement mind game Tax considerations for retirees Smart moves for new parents When you retire without enough ABLE accounts for disabled When a family member dies An executor checklist The retirement we imagine, the retirement we live Steps to catchup if you are behind on your retirement savings? Your financial co-pilot Yes, young growing families can save and invest Why don’t all affluent people become wealthy? Beneficial moves for every age Keep calm, stay on plan

Signs of elder abuse

By: Ken Weise
September 13, 2019

Physical, mental, and financial warning signals. 

Is someone taking advantage of someone you love? June 15 is World Elder Abuse Prevention Day, a day to call attention to a crisis that may become even more common as baby boomers enter the “third acts” of their lives.  

Elder abuse has increased in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the rate of assaults on men aged 60 and older rose 75 percent from 2002-2016; the murder rate for this demographic rose 7 percent during 2010-2016. Additionally, assaults on women aged 60 and up increased by 35 percent from 2007-2016.

Many elders are afraid or unable to speak out about what is happening to them. In some cases, the abuse is limited to financial exploitation. In other cases, it may include neglect and physical or emotional cruelty.

What should you watch out for? Different varieties of elder abuse have different signals, some less obvious than others. 

Neglect. This is commonly defined as withholding or failing to supply necessities of daily living to an elder, from food, water and appropriate clothing to necessary hygiene and medicines. Signals are easily detectable and include physical signs such as bedsores, malnutrition and dehydration, and flawed living conditions (i.e., faulty electrical wiring, fleas or cockroaches, and inadequate heat or air conditioning).

Neglect may also take financial form. A relative may avoid paying for an elder’s assisted living, nursing home care, or at-home health care. Or, an in-home eldercare service provider may fail to provide a sufficient degree or frequency of care.

Abandonment. This occurs when a caregiver or responsible party flat-out deserts an elder – dropping him or her off at a nursing home, a hospital, or even a bus or train station with no plans to return. Hopefully, the elder has the presence of mind to call for help, but if not, a tragic situation will quickly worsen. When an elderly person seems to stay in one place for hours and appears confused or deserted, it is time to get to the bottom of what just happened for their safety.

Physical abuse. Bruises and lacerations are evident signals, but other indicators are less evident: sprains and dislocations, cracked eyeglass lenses, impressions on the arms or legs from restraints, too-much or too-little medication, or a strange reticence, silence, fearfulness, or other behavioral changes in the individual.

Emotional or psychological abuse. How do you know if an elder has been verbally degraded, tormented, threatened in your absence, or left in isolation? If the elder is not willing or able to let you know about such wrongdoing, watch for signals, such as withdrawal from conversation or communication, agitation or distress, and repetitive or obsessive-compulsive actions linked to dementia, such as rocking, biting, or sucking.

Financial abuse. When an unscrupulous relative, friend, or other party uses an elder’s funds, property, or assets illegally or dishonestly, this is financial exploitation. It can take different forms, all the way from simply withdrawing an elder’s savings with his or her ATM card to forgery to improperly assuming conservatorship or power of attorney.

How do you spot it? Delve into the elder’s financial life and see if you detect things like strange ATM withdrawals or account activity, additional names on a bank signature card, changes to beneficiary forms, or the sudden absence of collectibles or valuables. 

Examine signatures on financial transactions – on closer examination, do they appear to be authentic or studied forgeries? Have assets been inexplicably transferred to long-uninvolved heirs or relatives – or worse yet, apparent strangers? Have eldercare bills gone unpaid recently? Is the level of eldercare being provided oddly slipshod, given the financial resources being devoted to it?

Whether elder abuse is intentional or unintentional, the harm done can be shameful. So, talk to or check in on your parents, grandparents, siblings, or other elders you know to ensure they are free from mistreatment. 


Ken Weise, an LPL Financial Advisor, provided this article. He can be reached at 707-584-6690. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions of this material are for information purposes only.