As your senior parent gets older, it’s natural to become concerned about his or her health and ability to manage daily activities and responsibilities independently. When a senior becomes diagnosed with an illness or has decreasing mental awareness, it can be difficult for him or her to pay the bills on time and manage money appropriately. Although your parent may have a difficult time relinquishing control of his or her money, it may be a good idea to begin taking some control of his or her finances and seeking out the appropriate resources. Here are some suggestions to get you started when your mom or dad needs assistance with managing his or her finances.
1. Have an pen Conversation with Your Parent
You need to become informed about your loved one’s current financial situation and how his or her finances are set up and being managed. Where are the important documents and paperwork kept? Do you need a key to a safe? Has your loved one made investments, or does he or she have stocks and bonds? Many seniors don’t want to share this private information, so it’s important to discuss this sensitive topic with care and remind your parent that you only want to help. Your mom or dad may not be ready for you to completely take over his or her finances. Remain respectful while also trying to allow your loved one to keep as much independence as possible.Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Irving Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Become Your Parent’s Financial Manager
By becoming your parent’s financial manager, you can protect against elder abuse schemes such as fraud and identity theft. Help your loved one get copies of his or her credit score, and monitor his or her spending and credit card statements to ensure he or she isn’t being victimized. You may also wish to start writing the checks for your loved one’s monthly bills if you feel it’s in his or her best interests. Perhaps you can also gain access to his or her online accounts to see current balances and check tax returns. If your parent has spending issues, you may also need to step in and set limits on credit card spending and weekly/monthly cash allowances. This would allow your loved one to choose how to spend some of his or her money and keep some independence while still following a strict budget. Remind your parent you’re looking out for his or her best interests and only want what’s best for him or her. Try to keep your loved one involved in the finances as much and as long as possible, and wait to take over completely until you absolutely have to.Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need a break from your caregiving duties to sort out your loved one’s financial situation. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Irving respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
3. Ensure Your Parent Has Safe Investments
People in their 70s, 80s, and beyond can’t afford to put their life savings into risky investments, as they won’t have time to bounce back from losses. Make sure your loved one’s financial portfolio consists mainly of safe investments like bonds, CDs, and mutual funds.
4. Have a Will, Living Will, & Healthcare Proxy in Place
Ensuring your parent has these three legal documents in place can avoid hassles in the future. A will identifies who should inherit his or her property. A living will reveals your parent’s healthcare wishes in the event he or she becomes incapacitated. A healthcare proxy appoints an individual to make healthcare decisions that aren’t detailed in your parent’s living will in the event your mom or dad is incapable of doing so.
5. Seek Power of Attorney
Power of attorney allows you to make financial decisions on your parent’s behalf if he or she is mentally unstable or his or her health inhibits him or her from making rational decisions. If you feel it would be in your parent’s best interests, you can seek power of attorney to fully manage his or her finances. When talking to your parent about this topic, you may also wish to discuss long-term care options. Understand it can be very difficult for your loved one to relinquish independence in lifestyle choices and financial decisions. Remain respectful of your parent’s wishes while keeping his or her best interests in mind. While it’s difficult to discuss, planning can ensure your parent’s happiness and safety as he or she ages.Seeing your mom or dad’s health decrease with age is certainly not an easy thing to face. Helping with a parent’s finances and providing care are often met with resistance, and it may not be easy to help your loved one understand your need to be involved. By understanding how your loved one is feeling, you’ll be able to effectively communicate with him or her on even the most sensitive topics while showing him or her you care.By maintaining financial security, older adults can enjoy a higher quality of life.Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care.Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (817) 591-1580.