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How Can You Help Your Senior with Their Finances?

August 9th, 2019

By: Lenora Alabi

Many older adults have difficulty handling their finances because of illness or cognitive problems. When that happens, a family caregiver may need to step in and assist them to ensure their bills are paid and their financial accounts remain secure. If you have recently noticed that your aging relative may need some help with finances, here are 5 tips that caregivers can use to accomplish the task.

Know if Help is Needed

Finances can be a touchy subject for some people, so it’s important to know for certain that they need help before you dive in. Even if you’re reasonably sure they are doing fine, it’s a good idea to start talking about finances early. Some experts recommend that it’s time to start talking to older adults when they reach the age of 70 or so. That way, you can address the issue before a crisis occurs. If you believe your aging relative is already having difficulty, watch for these signs:

  • Bills that are late or unpaid.
  • Bounced checks.
  • Creditors calling to collect a debt.
  • Purchases that seem strange or frivolous given the older adult’s past spending habits.

Gather Financial Documents and Information

Once you’ve determined that the older adult needs assistance with their finances, it’s time to gather all of their financial information together. Caregivers need to know what’s out there before they can make sure bills are paid and assets are used appropriately and kept safe. Collect all account information and bills together. 

Get a Power of Attorney (POA)

A POA allows caregivers access to the older adult’s financial accounts. It also lets them take control of the accounts if the senior should be unable to make decisions for themselves. This can be extremely important if the older adult becomes ill or develops dementia. An attorney or financial consultant can help you to get a POA following the rules in the senior’s state.

Set Up Online Access

Setting up online access to your aging relative’s accounts will allow you to monitor them and pay bills without having to be at the senior’s house. It lets you take care of things from your own home. It also makes it possible for long-distance caregivers to take on the responsibility.

Talk to Seniors About Fraud and Scams

Older adults are frequently the target of scams aimed at taking their money or gaining access to their financial accounts. When caregivers talk to them about scams, it can prevent them for falling for these scams. Advise your older relative not to give personal information over the phone or click on links in emails from people they do not know. Also, tell them about scams you’ve heard about, so they know what to do if they are approached.

Sources
https://www.verywellhealth.com/a-caregivers-guide-to-handling-finances-for-a-loved-one-1094545
https://www.consumerreports.org/financial-planning/how-to-help-your-elderly-parents-with-their-finances/
https://www.thesimpledollar.com/taking-over-your-aging-parents-finances/

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING CAREGIVERS IN STREETERVILLE, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.