As a family caregiver one of your most important priorities is keeping your parent safe. When you think about this need it is likely that your mind immediately goes to issues such as reducing fall risk, preventing wandering, keeping their home secure, and reducing poisoning risk. It is important, however, that you keep in mind that these are not the only potential risks that your elderly parent faces as they age. One that you might not immediately think of but that is quite pressing is the possibility of identity theft.
Some things that you should know about identity theft and your elderly loved one include:
• Approximately 16 billion dollars was stolen through identity theft in 2016
• This accounts for more than 15 million victims
• Identity theft has increased 47 percent since 2014
• More than 49 percent of identity theft cases involve government documents or benefits fraud
• Nearly 16 percent of identity theft cases involve credit card fraud
• Approximately 10 percent of identity theft cases involve phone or utilities fraud
• Nearly 6 percent of identity theft cases involve bank fraud
• Just over 3 percent of identity theft cases involve employment-related fraud
• Over 3 percent of identity theft cases involve loan fraud
• Approximately 7 percent of the population of the United States over the age of 16 is the victim of identity theft in any given year
It is important to note that elderly adults are particularly vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of scams, such as cybercrime. Seniors tend to be more trusting than younger people and come from a time when the concept of identity theft was not known as well, particularly when it comes to issues such as internet-based crimes. Seniors may also suffer from cognitive functioning decline, confusion, or dementia that make it more difficult for them to understand what choices or actions are safe and which might be fraudulent. Because they are less likely to understand how things like online banking, credit cards, social media, and email are meant to operate, they are more likely to go along with scam activities such as providing their personal information under the guise of winning a prize or checking for security.
Starting home care for your aging parent can be a fantastic way to encourage them to experience the highest quality of life possible as they age in place while still staying safe. An in-home senior care services provider can understand the particular challenges, risks, and limitations that your aging parent is facing and develop a highly personalized set of services tailored to their personal needs as well as their individuality, personality, beliefs, and goals. This means that they can manage their needs
while also pursuing an active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling lifestyle throughout their later years. When it comes to protecting them from issues that they might face, such as the danger of identity theft, this care provider can help them to understand their risks and make good lifestyle choices, as well as provide supervision and support that can give both of you peace of mind.
When you know your aging loved-one needs help with companion care, consider in-home care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.