According to experts, approximately 21% of the population of the United States is a victim of identity theft each year. A large percentage of these victims are older adults.
There are many reasons why seniors are at increased risk of suffering identity theft, including the fact that they tend to be more trusting, continue to utilize paper bills and statements more frequently, and may not be as familiar with resources such as the internet. As a family caregiver, it is vital that you recognize the potential risk of identity theft and remain vigilant to detect the signs that your senior may have been victimized so that you can take the proper steps to manage the situation in the best way possible and protect your parents in the future.
Some signs that you are aging loved one has been a victim of identity theft include:
-Not receiving bills or other mail that is expected
-Having difficulty balancing a checkbook or noticing withdrawals from bank accounts that cannot be explained
-Receiving communication about credit cards, loans, and other financial products that your parent did not apply for
-Contact from debt collectors for debts that your parent does not recognize
-Stores or other merchants refusing to accept checks from your parent when they have never had difficulty before
-Contact from insurance companies about procedures or health care that your parent did not receive
-Refusal from an insurance company to cover procedures or health care due to your parent supposedly filing too many claims or reaching a limit when they have not
-Inconsistencies in their credit report
-Contact from the IRS about duplicate tax returns
If you have been looking for ways to improve your aging parent’s quality of life and support a better lifestyle as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them.
An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on the schedule that is right for them, ensuring that they get the level of care that they need while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine. This means providing individualized services tailored to your parent as an individual that address their needs while also encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as healthy, safe, comfortable, and independent as possible as they age in place. These services can include safe and reliable transportation, running errands, assistance with personal care tasks, mobility support, meal preparation, companionship, and more.