For many seniors, managing their financial matters on their own is of high importance. As a caregiver, it is also important to be able to provide help when needed. It can be tough to convince someone they need help, even if all of the indicators are there. For this reason, it is necessary to apply a respectful, gentle approach when helping aging parents with finances.
For example, do they forget to pay bills, get confused about their accounts, or spend money unwisely? If so, it may be time to step in. But even if your loved one is struggling, they may still be resistant to having someone get involved.
Here are a few essential tips for helping your senior loved one with their finances to reduce defensiveness.
Collaborate and Respect Their Decisions
If your senior loved one can still manage their finances relatively well, be respectful of their decisions, and work with them instead of taking over entirely.
Hopefully, they will appreciate your help with managing some of the fine details, such as paying bills every month. Also, they may be more willing to accept help if they realize you aren’t taking away their control.
If your senior loved one has a cognitive impairment such as dementia, you may need to take over financial decisions on their behalf. However, it is still respectful to ensure they feel included and in control, even if they cannot manage things on their own anymore.
Locate Important Documents
It is essential to know where vital financial documents are so you can locate them in case of an emergency, such as your senior loved one becoming incapacitated. This will allow you to protect your loved one’s assets when they are unable to on their own.
Relevant documents typically include wills, insurance policies, social security payments, safe deposit box info, mortgage documents, vehicle titles, and any investment, bank, or brokerage statements.
Request Access to Financial Accounts
This step often requires advanced notice as financial institutions typically have specific paperwork. These organizations often have specific rules as to who can access accounts. Sometimes, they may require their own documents even if you have a completed Power of Attorney.
Keep Family Informed
Your senior loved one should stay involved in their financial decisions for as long as they are able. But, if there comes a time when that is not possible, and you need to take full responsibility, it is wise to share information with other family members so everyone is on the same page.
This helps to avoid conflicts later, such as accusations of financial fraud or even financial elder abuse. Unfortunately, even the closest of families can struggle when it comes to financial matters surrounding a loved one.
Prepare for the Future
If your senior loved one does not already have a will, trust, or estate plan, now is the time. Try to convince them to work with an elder law attorney to start the process.
These essential legal documents are critical because they directly affect how your loved one’s assets will be distributed when they pass on. It is also important to complete any other essential legal documents such as a Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, or a living will.
You will then be more prepared to make decisions on your loved one’s behalf and take action quickly in the event of a health crisis.
Ways We Can Help
For more information, you may want to check out our Resources page. It contains a list of agencies, companies, and other helpful sites that can help you in your caregiving journey.
In addition, if you need an extra hand while you’re helping arrange your senior loved one’s finances, reach out to us at New Wave Home Care! Not only do we serve as an extended family in the home, but our highly skilled caregivers also use a unique approach that’s all about connection and compassion. We deliver all of this with an added personal touch that allows our clients to experience a degree of joy.
We also support clients and their families with personalized in-home solutions. Services like respite care, personal care, transitional care, specialized care, medication reminders, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and hospice support. At New Wave Home Care, it’s not just about caregiving. It’s about heart! To learn more now or to schedule a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in Pasadena, CA visit us today at www.newwavehomecare.com.