The elderly can be lonely, trusting and have diminished capacity which can make them vulnerable to those who would take advantage.

A woman met an elderly man in his 80s in a store recently and then married him a week later as the Washington Post reports in “Elderly, lonely and suffering from dementia – to thieves, the perfect mark,” but life got tougher for him shortly thereafter as she began to empty his bank accounts. She was recently convicted for her crimes.

No one is certain how much money is stolen from elderly people every year because many cases go undiscovered or unreported. Estimates have ranged into billions of dollars a year. Often after the money is stolen it is impossible to get it back.

Even when the thief is caught and convicted for their crimes, the money has already been spent and the thief has no way to pay restitution.

Elderly people are advised to be careful about whom they trust.

If a person is new in an elderly person’s life and seems overly friendly, then the elderly person would be wise to guard his or her bank accounts carefully. However, because many elderly people suffer from a diminished capacity with age, they cannot prevent elder abuse on their own.

Consequently, it is important that friends and family members remain on the alert for it as well.

An elder law attorney can guide you in setting up safeguards to protect the elderly and their assets.

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