Financial crimes can severely impact seniors in many ways. Money is not as easy to make back as an elderly citizen, and losing the last of one’s money and home of 50 years can cause severe emotional and physical stress, depression and loss of a will to live. It’s important to know how financial abuse may affect your elderly family member if they fall victim to the horrible crime of senior fraud.
Physical and Emotional Impact
The health consequences of elder abuse can be severe, and can destroy quality of life. Physical and emotional impact factors include: increased sense of helplessness, depression, increased physical disabilities, new or worsened illnesses, increased stress, increased dependency, malnutrition, increased mental decline, and premature death.
Inability to Recover Financially
Retired seniors are put in a very difficult position after becoming a victim of financial fraud which has drained most of their savings. They can’t simply go back to work and earn money; many elderly citizens have physical and mental disabilities, don’t have a car or the ability to drive one anymore, and illnesses that prevent them from being able to work. And if they lose their home, there is almost no way to get a new one.
Loss of Independence
If an elderly person has to struggle with the drastic losses of financial fraud, they need help from family or whoever is there to help them. They may have lost all their money, their home, and now suffer a loss of independence. They must rely on help from others to survive, which many seniors don’t like to feel, because it denies them of a sense of pride and capability to take care of themselves. It can be emotionally damaging to lose this independence.
Diminished Quality of Life
Seniors suffer severely after being scammed; inability to recover, worrying about the likelihood of it happening again and regretting that poor decision may drive victims to become reclusive and depressed. Suffering from all this plus embarrassment and poor self-confidence may severely diminish an elderly person’s quality of life, and impel a loss of a will to live.
The National Center on Elder Abuse defines “vicarious victimization” as a senior who has not yet become a victim but fears becoming one. They are often reclusive and see the world with a distorted perspective, and withdraw from their regular lifestyle, abandoning doing things that involve interacting with society, such as grocery shopping, going to church, etc. This kind of damaging behavior needs immediate attention and help from family members.
If you would like to learn more about how our caregivers can help your loved one prevent senior fraud, give us a call at (805) 934-0600 or email us via our contact form.