You have many things to consider when providing senior home care; you want your loved one to have the best care and treatment possible, and ultimately be safe. Unfortunately, oftentimes threats to their well-being can come unseen by family via the telephone.
Scams and other shady schemes have been on the rise for decades, to the point there is now an entire black-market industry based around separating seniors from their nest eggs. In recent years, it is estimated that billions of dollars per year are stolen from them through phone scams. If you are providing senior home care or just looking out for an elderly loved one, educate them on how to avoid being taken advantage of.
Help Your Senior Stay Ahead of the Scammers
1 – Teach assertiveness.
Seniors who grew up in the 30-50s were taught to be polite at all costs, and may find it difficult or nearly impossible to hang up the phone or say ‘no.’ Help them understand that it is OK to hang up on someone who acts suspiciously or confuses them.
In the event the matter is truly important and legitimate, they will undoubtedly follow-up by mail. “Better safe than sorry” is a good policy.
2 – Ask for important details from phone callers.
When someone calls wanting money from a senior, whether they do a sales pitch or claim that money is owed, seniors should always ask for (and write down) that person’s name, manager’s name, and company name, along with the company’s phone number and physical address.
Many scammers will refuse to provide these at all, which should be an immediate red flag prompting the senior to hang up the phone. If the information is provided, it usually only takes a moment to type the phone number or address into Google to see if they match the claims.
3 – Never buy medical products without consulting a doctor.
Many senior scams involve quack medical products which are either useless, overly expensive, or both. When someone is trying to sell healthcare-related products, the senior or caregiver should get the full company and product name, then consult with a doctor before making any decisions.
4 – Compile a list of helpful resources.
Many entities specifically try to help seniors avoid getting scammed. A few of these include the AARP, your local Better Business Bureau, the US
Administration on the Aging, and the FBI. Putting together a list of phone numbers and email addresses can be very helpful to the senior; when they are in doubt, they will have resources they can reach out to.
5 – Consider in-home care.
Professional senior home care services can take many of these burdens off your shoulders, with providers who can help your senior with daily activities and are empowered to take phone calls and say “no” when necessary. Contact Neighborly Home Care for more information about available services.
Neighborly Home Care is a leading provider of in home care for seniors in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties. Our caregivers are all certified nursing assistants, or they have received equivalent training and passed a nurse aid skills assessment test.