Common Health Scams Targeting Seniors

It seems like everywhere you look there is a new scam that could target seniors. Most of the scams that affect seniors in today’s society deal with health problems. Magazines, television ads, and newspaper ads all tout miracle drugs that claim to do everything from cure arthritis to cancer. “Smart Drugs” are advertised across every media outlet that claim to cure painful ailments and keep people healthy. These drugs are unregulated, and could actually cause more harm than good. Health scams and the marketing of unproven cures have been around for many years. Today, there are more ways than ever to sell all of these untested products. In addition to magazines, newspapers, and infomercials, there are now websites all across the internet that tell stories of patients who had overnight cures to all of their ailments. Sadly, seniors are often the target of these health scams due to their old age, their retirement funding, and their vulnerability. The problem is serious. Untested medications can be harmful and can get in the way of prescription medications that are already being used by seniors. Plus, they are a huge waste of money, and they can even keep seniors from getting essential medical treatment that they may need. Keep reading to find out some of the most common health scams targeting seniors andthat could affect your elderly relatives.

Anti-Aging Medications

Our culture places a great amount of weight on staying young and appearing youthful, but, aging is inevitable and medications cannot stop the aging process. Despite this, many elderly people do believe claims about pills or treatments that lead to endless youth and can stop the aging process. None of the health scams have treatments that have been proven to work. The only way to possibly slow down the aging process is to eat healthy, exercise regularly and stop smoking and drinking. By doing all of these things seniors can help prevent certain disease processes that occur with age and age gracefully.

Arthritis Medications

Unproven arthritis medications and remedies are an easy health scam to fall for due to the crippling symptoms of the disease. Many patients who suffer from arthritis will try anything to slow or stop their symptoms. Due to this, they may even try health scam remedies that are unproven and untested. At first, they may even believe that the treatments are helping since arthritis symptoms tend to wax and wane. Unfortunately though, the remedies almost never work and can even make your elderly loved ones’ arthritis worse overtime. Most forms of arthritis do not have a cure. Rest, exercise, eating right, and taking prescribed medications can help people control their symptoms.

Cancer Cures

Scam artists across the nation and the world prey on the fear of cancer. They promote treatments that have no scientific basis. By taking these scam treatments, elderly people may harm their health and may even lose valuable time and the chance to benefit from scientifically based, proven treatments prescribed to them by their doctors.

Memory Aids

Many elderly people are afraid of memory loss as they grow older. For this reason, they may believe false promises from unproven scam treatments that claim to help them keep or improve their memory. Scam treatments include taking smart pills, removing dental fillings, and trying special diets. All of these treatments are untested and cannot help improve seniors’ memory.

Health Insurance

There are fraudulent companies all around the world that prey on older individuals who do not have health insurance. These companies target people who are unable to get health insurance and offer them coverage that promises more than it ever intends to deliver. When your elderly loved one thinks about buying health insurance sit down with them and go over all of the companies and policies they can obtain. Together, choose a reputable company and a policy that they can afford and that gives them great coverage.

Health scams are everywhere. If your elderly loved one reads magazines or newspapers then it is likely they have seen magic pills or treatments that could cure one of their ailments. They also may see these treatments all across the Internet or on the television. Some companies even call elderly homes and talk to them on the phone to get them to buy into their new magical treatment. To protect your elderly loved one, look for any red flags that appear in their media publications. Red flags include advertisements that:

  • Promise a quick and painless cure.
  • Claim the product is made from an ancient or secret recipe.
  • Offer products that are only found from one company and can only be obtained through the mail.
  • Use statements or testimonials from so-called satisfied patients.
  • Claim to cure a myriad of diseases.
  • Require advance payment or claim that there is only a limited supply of the product.

If any of the advertisements in media publications your elderly loved one receives looks like a health scam then sit your loved one down and talk to them about the products. You should also ask your elderly loved ones what medications they are using if you know that they suffer from a variety of diseases. If any of their medications were not prescribed by their doctors then ask them where they received the medication from to see if it is a scam. If they are taking health scam medications then try to get them to stop the medication as soon as possible and educate them on why the medicine is a scam. You can also educate your loved ones on how to spot a health scam and why it is important not to take the scam treatments. Any health scams could cause more harm than good to your elderly loved one and leave their health in worse condition. It is especially important for patients who have cancer to avoid unregulated and untested treatments. These treatments could interfere with their prescribed treatments or cause them to stop their medical treatments. Health scam treatments are rampant, and your elderly loved ones could be in danger of believing the false claims they see in the media. As their primary caregiver or loved one, understand all of these common scams so that you can protect your loved one from all of them.