Senior Bullying

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I was at a lunch today with a few professionals who also deal with seniors. The discussion came around to Senior’s abuse. We are seeing more of this and we are doing more training on Senior’s abuse than in the past. Thankfully awareness in the public is growing. There are a variety of ways to handle each situation and they must be handled skilfully.

We ended up having quite a talk on the bullying of seniors by family members and how difficult it is to protect our seniors. While bullying is abuse, it is much more difficult to recognize and do something about.

Coincidently, this afternoon I received another call from a long-time client. This client is very investment savvy and we have worked diligently to meet her changing needs and allowing her to sleep at night. Over time, she has taken some of her money to help her children from time to time.

All of a sudden she started calling quite frequently needing more and more specifics on her investments. She would state her understanding of the investments and portfolio just to confirm what she already knows. She is always dead on the facts. She is very knowledgeable about her investments, yet has called more often than in the past. When I noticed this I started probing to find out why: it is often a client who feels their memory is slipping or there is an outside influence.

The Outside Influence

This brings in the appearance of one of her children who, even though this child has no personal investments, has decided to try to take over my client’s investments. My client realizes she has more investment knowledge her child. She also is aware that the child is looking at her investment portfolio from her child’s own point of view – not her mother’s. Mother is now not sleeping at night, knowing her wishes and needs are not being properly considered by her child and is feeling this pressure.

As sometimes is the case in these matters, she is going to continue to try to stand firm to her decisions but unfortunately she might eventually bend to her child’s pressure. A while ago her child came in with her to meet me and straighten me out. My client quietly sat, observed and strategically made sure her child knows she is knowledgeable and in control of her portfolio. Our meeting actually ended on a positive note, for the time being. Her child is simply re-grouping as we had solid reasoning for each and every investment, the portfolio construction and income stream.

This call today was the result of my client talking to friends about her investments (something she has never done in the past) and her child’s new-found interest. Her friends let her know that she is in control of her faculties and has solid investment knowledge. She is now doing her homework to keep ahead of her child’s never ending questioning. I asked if it would help if we got her other children involved to bring a balance and sense of peace back to her life. We are exploring this possibility.

Work With Professionals

This is type of things that keep me up at night. She doesn’t deserve this growing stress. She had found a great equilibrium between risk, reward and income. I will be looking to my professional contacts both at my office and in our community to help.

We need to protect our seniors. In most cases I bring the children in to understand the parent’s needs and wishes and to help when required. A much more positive experience for all.

Your Independence Matters

If you want to see what a truly independent investment/insurance advisor can do for you, call me at 905-846-9060, ext.3838, email me at Terry.McIntyre@manulifesecurities.ca or visit my website at www.terrymcintyre.ca