After visiting with a loved one, have you experienced that uneasy feeling of something not being quite right with their living situation such as a much younger friend/relative, out of the ordinary, staying longer than intended to get back on their feet? Your loved one making excuses for time or money spent on the other person? Or your loved one not having quite as much in their checking account when you know they have a good amount of money left after paying all their bills? Pay attention to your instincts and ask some questions to help you gather information which should be reported to your local Adult Protective Services.
Following years of home visits with the elderly population, usually same clients for a few years, I was able to see the changes in their environment or the client. At times, they were new clients and I would ask questions that assisted in making that decision to call Adult Protective Services. Here are a few examples that may assist in protecting your loved one:
1.“What bills do you pay? How do you pay them or who takes you?” you can calculate income versus expenses and figure out how much is left after bills are paid compared to what the current balance and when the next check will be arriving.
2. “Do you get statements from the bank? Can I see them, how do you know what your balance is? Check for withdrawals/frequency of withdrawals. Most elders continue to receive paper statements.
3. Look in their refrigerator and cabinets to make sure there is food/water, medications recently order and already requires a refill?(especially with someone temporarily staying with your loved one) also you want to make sure they are not sleeping on the couch as the other person takes over your loved ones bedroom.
4. Talk to the neighbors, they may know much more than you think especially landscapers and maintenance personnel who may give you information on the people coming in or out and other pertinent information.
If in doubt or have questions, please call your local Adult Protective Services