It can be challenging to care for a loved one who lives far away. Are there many miles separating you from your aging parents? If you can’t stop by on a regular basis to check on their health and daily activities, then you might not know when potential problems arise.
Even though you live far away, it is essential that you stay involved to protect your family member from potential elder abuse. Without the support of close family, the risk of financial abuse increases.
Here are a few things that you can do to protect your aging parents:

  1. Maintain Open Communication with the Family: Talk to your siblings and other family members who are involved in the care of your parent. Make sure that everyone is consistent with caregiving decisions, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities.
  2. Organize Paperwork and Documentation: If you aren’t aware of the financial picture, then financial abuse could occur undetected. Organize financial information, bank account access, and other paperwork related to the estate of your parent. This information will help you monitor activity and detect significant balance changes or unusual financial activity.
  3. Involve the Professionals: You might consider hiring professionals to help with managing the care for your parent. For example, elder care attorneys can offer advice about protecting assets and managing care.
  4. Talk to Your Parent Regularly: Consistent conversation will make your parent feel comfortable discussing concerns should they arise. Call them regularly to discuss their day, learn about their activities, and build the relationship. Take the opportunity during these conversations to warn them about potential scams and ask questions about their finances. By talking to your parent, you might be able to identify potential signs of elder abuse in the early stages and stop the abuse before it gets worse.

Despite his very demanding responsibilities, Deputy District Attorney Paul R. Greenwood,  Head of Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit, San Diego DA’s Office, finds time each day to connect with his 92-year-old mother in England through Facetime.
It can be a challenge to care for a parent from a distance. But it is important that you be proactive. Check in regularly over the phone, and schedule times to visit in person. Maintaining the conversation can help you protect your parents from potential financial abuse.
For more information email or phone 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound .