Elderly Care in Bayside, NY – Seniors are considerably more susceptible to Being the Target of Illegal Activity
Loneliness among the elderly isn’t necessarily the result of a lifelong personality trait. It can be triggered by the loss of a spouse, medical illnesses (which can result in the loss of driving ability), impaired mobility and hearing loss. The death of senior friends, and grown kids who’ve moved far away, compound the problem.
These circumstances make some older people prone to falling for scams – often lottery-type deals or sweepstakes contests. Though most of these contests are legitimate, some are run by fraudsters who prey on lonely elders. The scam can occur via phone, snail mail or e-mail, and involves paying a fee to “collect” the prize—which doesn’t exist.
Here are some ideas to protect aging parents from loneliness’s risks:
- Keep contact ongoing, preferably several times a week, and don’t wait for special reasons; just do it.
- Make in-person visits routine. Phone calls don’t allow you to see what’s going on. If these visits are stressful, keep them brief, but consistent. If you live far away, use Skype.
- See what the local community centers offer for seniors, even if your aging parents were never minglers. Maybe they’ll have a change of heart.
- Take your parents to ball games, museums, festivals, fairs, flea markets, etc. Don’t wait for them to ask you.
- Inquire about any contests or lotteries they’ve participated in, to screen for rip-offs or addictive behavior. Warn them to avoid “You won!” and “Claim your prize!” schemes. These can appear on random phone calls or on internet ads.
- If distance separates you and your senior loved one, hire elder care services to spend a few hours each day with parents.
- Teach your parents to be tech savvy to avoid missing out on social connections. A computer with video capabilities is a giant leap to bridge communication gaps. Enlist the help of the grandkids. Their elder care provider can help with this too.
We all get lonely sooner or later, but this is particularly vexing for the aging population. Younger people should realize that it’s not so easy for the elderly to remedy this problem by simply getting out more. Family members need to invest a little more attention and time towards helping their elders become more socially connected, which will discourage them from falling for scams.