Were you aware that as Florida elders age, they become increasingly vulnerable to scams? With that said, are you a family caregiver or do you have a member of your family with a caregiver? This question is important because family caregivers play an important role in safeguarding Florida elders from scams. We have 7 strategies for family caregivers to shield aging Florida elders from scams here on our blog that we share with all of our clients, colleagues, and friends.

1. Florida elders need to know and understand common scams. As the caregiver for your family’s aging loved one you need to be sure they are aware of the most common scams targeting seniors. These scams include phone scams, email phishing, and fraudulent investment opportunities. Be sure to talk often about new types of scams and have them be very wary of unsolicited offers.

2. Florida elders need to monitor their financial activity. As their caregiver, ask your elder loved one if you can review bank statements, credit reports, and financial transactions for any unusual activity. Together, you could set up alerts with banks and credit card companies to notify you both of large withdrawals or unusual spending patterns. This can be very helpful in detecting and preventing fraudulent activities early.

3. Florida elders need to implement legal safeguards. As the caregiver for your elder loved one, do you know if their Florida estate planning documents are up-to-date and comprehensive? This includes powers of attorney, last will and testaments, and trust agreements. With these documents your loved one who you care for can authorize a trusted family member or attorney to manage their finances, reducing the risk of exploitation. An experienced estate planning attorney can ensure these documents are tailored to the needs of your elder and to Florida laws.

4. Florida elders need to be sure to use technology wisely. As the caregiver for a Florida elder you should think about installing security software on their devices to protect against malware and phishing attempts. Teach your loved one how to recognize suspicious emails and websites. In addition, you might want to consider setting up a family email account that you can monitor for any fraudulent activity.

5. Florida elders might need to leverage Medicaid benefits. Did you know that Florida’s Medicaid program offers various benefits that can help protect your elder’s financial and healthcare interests as you help them find ways to afford the high costs of long-term care? Your experienced Florida elder law attorney can help you and your elder loved one deal with  the complexities of Medicaid, ensuring your loved one receives all eligible benefits while protecting their assets from potential scammers.

6. Florida elders need to be encouraged to keep the lines of communication open with their caregiver, family and friends. Your aging loved one needs to feel comfortable discussing any suspicious activities or offers they encounter. Therefore, be sure to have regular, weekly check-ins with them and encourage them to share any concerns they might have. This open line of communication can be crucial in preventing scams.

7. Florida elders need to work with an experienced attorney. Were you aware that a Florida elder law attorney can provide valuable guidance and support in protecting your aging loved one from scams? They can help create and maintain up-to-date estate planning documents, offer advice on managing finances, and ensure compliance with Florida laws. They can also assist in understanding and maximizing Medicaid benefits, providing peace of mind for both caregivers and elders.

Do you feel like this article raised more questions than it answered? The important thing to remember is that, in addition to being vigilant against scams, it is vital to know that legal and financial protections are in place. What does this mean? It means maintaining up-to-date estate planning documents and understanding the benefits and complexities of programs like Medicaid? When working with an experienced Florida estate planning and elder law attorney, caregivers can better navigate these challenges, providing a secure environment for their aging loved ones and peace of mind for themselves. 

Remember, you are not alone in this journey.  We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering. We encourage you to contact us to schedule a meeting.