When you try to picture a “typical” senior victim of financial abuse, what comes to mind? You may be thinking of someone naive, easily manipulated, and uneducated as being the most likely victim of fraud or embezzlement. But according to one expert, it is actually people who were high achievers during their careers that are most vulnerable to predators who are after their money.

What makes accomplished seniors more vulnerable?

A law school professor points out that anyone can develop dementia that affects judgment and memory and makes them more exposed to theft and fraud by relatives, caretakers and con artists. But high achievers may be able to hide the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease for longer, leading their families to assume that they are still able to handle their own affairs. Also, high achievers may be too proud to admit there may be a problem, so they are less likely to ask for help, according to the professor.

Also, the fact that a senior has a great deal of wealth makes them a tempting target to unscrupulous people. Combine that with the victim’s possibly hidden signs of being in the early stages of dementia, and that adds up to a serious risk of a loved one being stolen from.

Protect your parents from elder abuse

Elder abuse can get especially serious if the victim agrees to make a dishonest person their power of attorney, which gives the predator the right to write checks and buy property in the victim’s name. If you are concerned about protecting your parent, you can take steps now to stop elder abuse, with the help of an attorney experienced with elder law.