Home Care: Helping Seniors Manage their Finances
Daily, most parents who are advanced in years find out that they are in situations where they need assistance in managing their finances. As we grow older, our financial situations normally change which makes it necessary for either children or an experienced financial advisor help maintain assets acquired for your family’s future. In other cases, it is required on a cognitive or physical level. In this case, it is essential to study the situation and choose the level of assistance required. Finances can be somehow be tricky in families especially when a parent has memory loss or has dementia. If you know how much help to offer what you are expecting, this can save you from family crisis. Your loved ones should feel support and be in control of their finances and look out for their interests.
The following signs show that help is needed:
- Diagnosis of dementia
- Cognitive impairment or loss of memory
- Emotional stress
- Physical weakness caused by illness
- Loss of a partner/spouse
- Too much talk about the lack of money
- Unpaid bills and unopened mail
- Not taking part in various activities that one once enjoyed because of their cost
- Acknowledge your parent’s independence
Parents, when aging would need more of your help which make roles reverse. Some parents might feel it is awkward or embarrassing for their child who is now an adult helping them because they feel their independence is being taken from them. Engage your parents in conversation about being there to support them if you are needed and you will not just bulge in and take over if they are concerned about that. Let them know they still have their financial independence as they always did. Taking it gradually would make it work better.
- Give them the support needed after losing a spouse
It is a normal thing that one of the spouses takes control of managing the money while the other gets lesser involved in finances as the years roll by. In a case where one of them passes away, the other might get overwhelmed without knowing how to go about with the finances. Let your parent know they will get the financial assistance needed by arranging a family meeting immediately to go through the finances and plan ahead.
- Automatic bill payments can be set up
This is an easy way to make payment of bills less difficult. Regular monthly deductions every month will help your parents avoid missing bill payments and paying additional or late fees. If your parent can no longer receive their mails, make arrangement to have it forwarded to either you or a sibling.
- Do research on different eligibility of benefits
This would really pay off for your parents. There is a lot of government assistance and money saving programs your parent will be eligible for depending on age, income level, location or even being a veteran. Do your parents qualify for Medicaid or Medicare? Service provided by Medicaid depends on the state, so you should ensure you get the proper information that is within your area. You can also visit Eldercare.gov which is a U.S. Administration on Aging public service connecting you to various services for elderly people and their family.
- Employ the services of an outside provider
Getting a financial advisor can be of assistance since elderly people’s financial matters could be complex and always changing. That is why it is vital to select a provider with reputation. When choosing the professional that will serve you and your family, you should take extreme caution and make sure they explain everything involved in details. If what you want is an individual who will provide a tailored plan for your parent, then a geriatric-care manager would need to be hired.
- Get the Power of Attorney
You will need the power of attorney to help your parents take care of their finances when they can longer do so. Arrange a family meeting with all your siblings to decide if either one or all siblings will become power of attorney in case it is essential. Having a plan on ground would make you and your loved ones have peace of mind and avoid bringing stress in the future because it would be difficult to decide under pressure.
- Gifting money
This can help put the parent off financial burdens if they are not able to do it by themselves. There are instances where parents do not feel comfortable collecting money from their children and even refusing their help which leads to them accumulating a lot of debt. If you want to help out with gift money, you can do so by providing meals, groceries, payments of medication or other things instead of giving cash or writing a check. You can even contribute tangible things; it makes it less difficult for your parent to accept it. Ensure such gifts do not put your own finances in jeopardy as well. Determine how much and how frequent you are going to give, plan for it and keep to that amount. There are cases where some adults get themselves involved in offering more than they planned and find it hard to adjust over time when they ought to do so. For more information please contact Christian Provider Service.