The author of a recent article in the Economist stressed the importance of banks adopting strategies to help out their clients as they age. After a certain age, a person’s financial decision-making skills are more likely to be compromised, leaving that person particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. This is fact due to not only degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, but also to the common process of aging. As a result of this trend, some bank managers have begun to create an environment in their banks that is “age-friendly,” to both aid aging customers and help protect them against financial scams.
Older Americans are particularly susceptible to financial abuse because cognitive decline in general can impair a person’s judgment and knowledge about finances. This can lead to bad investments and simply poor judgment in handling one’s day-to-day finances, thus resulting in substantial financial losses for this demographic. As 2010 statistics illustrate, while 13% of Americans were over the age of 65, they owned a third of the nation’s overall wealth. Therefore, older Americans are a great source of potential income for financial scammers, as well as particularly vulnerable to this type of abuse. However, it is hard to determine the extent of the losses due to financial exploitation of the elderly because in many cases, the victims simply do not report it.
While banks historically have left these matters to the customer and his or her family, banks increasingly are beginning to take measures to help protect the elderly from financial problems. If an older individual has trouble remembering passwords, one bank uses a voice recognition system as a substitute. Banks are providing training to their staff members so that they can notice the signs of dementia and possible financial exploitation. Furthermore, available technology and data are increasingly used to detect financial fraud, which helps to protect everyone from financial losses.
The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how devastating it can be when you entrust your loved one to the care of others, only to have that trust completely betrayed. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and those of your loved ones in all types of circumstances. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a daily basis, and we know how to get the relief to which you may be entitled. Don’t hesitate to fight back against a neglectful or abusive nursing care and assistance living facility that has caused harm to your loved one. Call us today and see how we can help.