As we get older, we can become increasingly dependent on others, and some people experience mental declines that affect memory and comprehension. These conditions make people vulnerable and, unfortunately, targets for financial exploitation.
To protect yourself, your spouse or an elderly parent from abuse, you might look to technological tools.
- Automating certain transactions can protect money and ensure a person’s bills and other necessary expenses get paid. Parties can work with their banks or bill recipients to set up automatic payments or deposits.
- Home security offers simple, high-tech tools that can prevent financial abuse as well. You might consider video doorbells, in-home cameras, third-party security systems, locks you can operate from a smartphone, and caller ID. These tools can allow potential targets for abuse to protect themselves and keep would-be abusers away.
- Video chatting facilitates face-to-face conversations when you can’t have them in person. For many people, being able to see others when speaking is preferable to talking to someone over the phone.
- If you are worried about losing things like your keys or wallet, which could give others access to valuable information and property, you could use small trackers like Tile. These and similar devices can be attached to items, and by using an app, you can see where the tracker – and your item – is.
Some of these options may seem intimidating or overly complex, but you should not dismiss them altogether. Consider asking a tech-savvy person for assistance or talking to a trusted professional.
The tragic toll of abuse
Financial abuse affects victims and their loved ones in many different ways, as this Forbes article discusses. A victim of financial exploitation may:
- Be unable to pay bills, including mortgages or rent
- Forego meals to save money
- Skip medical care they cannot afford
- Become depressed
- Lose money or property the victim planned to leave to loved ones
Financial abuse does not just take an economic toll on victims. It can affect their health, their happiness and their relationships with others. As such, it can be vital to explore all the options for protecting yourself and your loved ones from this type of mistreatment.