the art of caring for your aging loved one

Red Flag Situations

Scam Targets

Seniors can be easy targets for con-artists and unscrupulous creeps. Spend some time with Dad and Mum, going over the following information, and which also is available at your police station.

When an unknown person knocks on the door, don't invite him in. Say, "The lady of the house is not home. Come back another day please." Close the door. Reassure Mum that she isn't being rude. She's being sensible.

Especially if Dad and Mum are meek and overly trusting, encourage them to be wary if not suspicious. It may go against their natures, but it must be emphasized. One elderly woman, in exasperation, said to her well-meaning daughter, "You don't trust anyone, do you?" Sadly, the days of leaving our doors unlocked are over, Mum.

Install good locks and use them.

Beware and be Cautious

We can be better protected when we pay attention to some or all of these suggestions:

  • Do not rush into something involving your money or property.
  • Check qualifications of contractors and their staff. Are they licensed, bonded, insured, and registered with the Workers' Compensation Board?
  • Be wary of something-for-nothing, or get-rich-quick schemes. Never pay anything for a "free prize."
  • Never sign a contract until you and your lawyer, banker, or other expert has thoroughly read it.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone. Never.
  • Never turn over large sums of cash to anyone, especially a stranger, no matter how promising the deal looks.
  • Do not hesitate to check the credentials of a sales person or public official.
  • Report all suspicious offers to the police immediately, before the swindler leaves town in search of other victims. Officials will welcome your input.
  • Arrange for incoming cheques to be sent directly to the bank if your Aging Loved One has dementia issues. Speak with the bank manager about this.

Remember ... if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Always ask questions.

Mull it over.

Talk to neighbours and friends.

Talk to the police about your concerns.

Mail Fraud

A good rule of thumb: when something arrives in the mail, offering

  • tempting home-improvements
  • contests
  • "you have been selected to win" but invest money first
  • high profits for easy work
  • miracle cures...

it's is all rubbish. Straight into the re-cycle bin.

recycle bin

Save up a few of the examples from your own mail.

Tactic: practise with Dad and Mum.

Say, "Look what arrived this week. I could be a millionaire if I invest $5,000 in a company or person I don't even know. It's malarkey!"

Neighbour's car

If Auntie doesn't drive, consider offering her driveway as a spare parking spot for a neighbour. It suggests activity.

Phone Book Entry

We can specify the way we wish our names to appear in the phone book. Usually it appears as it does on the monthly financial statement.

Avoid a female title (Miss, Mrs.) and use initials only.

Not this: Mrs.Tra Lah. This: T.Lah