TIPS: HOW TO AVOID EXPLOITATION

Advice from Carmen Castaneda, program manager for Hennepin County Adult Protection Services, on preventing financial exploitation of vulnerable seniors:

• Stay in contact with older family members and know what's going on.

• Adult children need to know where their parents' money is, and if needed, help manage it.

• Watch for outside people who cozy up to loved ones.

• Power of attorney is easily gotten and easily abused. If someone is to have this authority, choose carefully.

• Seniors should have automatic deposit of Social Security checks.

• Consider automatic bill-paying.

• If seniors need assistance paying bills, be careful in picking who does that.