Doctors may play a critical in their patient’s finances, as well as their health.
As a Market Watch story explains, a program that involves training doctors
has proven successful in minimizing senior financial abuse. The Elder
Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation program was launched in 2009. It
involves the training of thousands of doctors to ask general, but helpful
questions when their senior patients visited for appointments. Considering the
frequency with which seniors have medical appointments, it is natural place for
basic inquiries about their financial situation to be tested.
As part of the program the doctors ask questions like:
-Have you given power of attorney to another person?
-Has someone asked you to change your will recently?
-Do you run out of money at the end of the month?
If suspicions are raised, the medical professional then refers the senior to
another who can help, depending on the specific problem. By the end of the
year, those working on the program hope than more than 15,000 medical
professionals across the country will be trained. An online training course is
being developed which will hopefully allow many more professionals to become
advocates in this fight, steering seniors to the help they need when financial
mistreatment is at issue.