Observe major changes
If you have an elder relative or neighbor that you are worried about, look out for major changes in terms of their financial habits and patterns. According to David Bahnsen, founder and managing partner of The Bahnsen Group, this is the biggest warning sign that they are being victims of financial abuse.
In addition to changing their financial practices (frequent withdrawals, excessive use of ATM cards, overdrawing accounts, unusual investments etc.), keep an eye out for changes in mood or appearances. When seniors are no longer concerned with grooming or maintaining proper hygiene, it might be an indication that they can no longer afford personal care services. More than that, if they are depressed, fearful or troubled all the time, it might be because they are intimidated and threatened by an abuser.
Red flags of other problems
Apart from being victims of financial abuse, behavioral, social and appearance changes can also be early signs of dementia or other age-related cognitive and psychological disorders. It is therefore recommended that family members or doctors observe the elder in question for a longer period of time and take appropriate measures when it becomes clear what sort of help is required.