Recent experiences with my own Mother have prompted me to write this blog about Elder Abuse. We have all heard horror stories of sexual assault and common assault of the elderly in nursing homes and perhaps even worse in their own homes. My story is about financial abuse. I do all my Mother’s bills and banking. She is cognisant enough to know when bills are due and what amount to be expecting. We do them together. She now resides in a nursing home but still has her own home. It should be noted that the elderly pay bills. They don’t question or query and they are very loyal to providers.
I have noticed several recurring things that have been becoming more and more obvious. Utility providers need to be closely observed. Why would my Mother need her gas bottle filled 3 times in a period she wasn’t living in her house? She doesn’t have a pilot light. We organised for her landline to be disconnected after 6 months. They didn’t do this and expected we would duly pay the bill. The pharmacy provides Webster packs to the nursing home. They regularly try to supply 2 bottles of 30 tablets per month. When I queried the bill, they gave me a lump sum bill and expected payment. Her house insurance was through a major provider which she has used for 38 years was $352.01 more expensive than another similar provider.
Recently she fell and broke her other hip and her mental acuity has deteriorated. I now have internet banking which when the bill is correct, makes payment that much easier. However, every time I have to query a bill it takes time – a lot. My tale is cautionary to anyone with elderly parents even when they are looking after their own affairs.
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