Josef, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, never saw it coming. “I survived the Lodz Ghetto and three camp selections, but I didn’t see that a distant cousin who asked me to contribute to a special fund was stealing from me,” he said. Josef became so distraught that his Seniors At Home homecare attendant, Elvira, contacted his son. “He was very upset,” she said, “and I was worried he would have a stroke.” Son and father talked, and both agreed that the time had come for Josef to have his finances managed by a trusted third party: Seniors At Home’s Fiduciary Services.
“Sadly, financial abuse of our seniors is all too common,” said Rebecca Paul, Esq., Director of Seniors At Home’s Fiduciary Services Department. “While five percent of all older Americans have been victims of financial scams in the recent past, we know that there is a significant underreporting of such incidents.”
In Josef’s case, his distant relative was able to abscond with about $12,000, all of it irretrievable. “That was very unfortunate,” said Mitchell, Josef’s only child, who lives on the East Coast. “More unfortunate was that my dad lost confidence in his ability to handle money on his own. He’s a self-made man who came to this country with nothing, and he built a family and business and put me through college and graduate school.”
Josef’s initial concern that he would lose his independence when he signed on with Seniors At Home’s Fiduciary Services has not been realized. “The account manager treats me with a great deal of respect,” he said. “When we meet monthly to go over my finances, I feel like we’re having a positive discussion. They don’t talk down to me or treat me like I don’t know what I’m doing. I also feel like I can trust them. After that horrible episode with my cousin, which I thought would kill me, this is a big relief.”
It’s also a relief to Josef’s son. “I am my dad’s only close relative, but because I live so far away, it is good to know that there are people nearby looking out for his interests,” Mitchell said. “My dad has become frailer over the years. I thought he might not make it when my mother died four years ago, but he is still a shtarker, a resilient guy. Seniors At Home is giving me peace of mind and my dad some additional quality of life in his later years.”