It’s a sensitive topic to discuss with aging parents, but one that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later: financial management for seniors. Many adult children are hesitant to step into their parents’ financial matters until there’s a glaring need, but beginning the conversation before the need arises provides ample opportunity to ensure everything is in order.
Amy Goyer of AARP shares, “One of the first things seniors tend to struggle with as they age is keeping up with their personal business.” These tactics can help:
- Carefully assess the seniors’ ability to manage finances. It can be extremely difficult for older adults to relinquish responsibility for their finances to an adult child, but can be made easier by starting small. Sit with your parents as they write out bills, offer to help them set up online accounts, and simply plant the seed that you’re there to help when it’s time to make the transition.
- Stay alert to fraud and scams. Older adults are often targeted in financial fraud and scams, with at least as many as 1 in 18 seniors impacted each year, according to a recent study. Help your senior loved ones remain educated about trending scams and how to avoid them – such as never giving out banking, credit card, or other personal information over the phone to callers who request it, even if the caller claims to be from a reputable organization such as the IRS or Social Security.
- Be mindful of family dynamics. Your senior parents should make the decision about who should manage their finances when they are no longer able, and each family member should respect and abide by that decision. For the person in charge of finances, it’s important to keep meticulous records and to share those with the other siblings.
- Ensure that all legal documentation is in place. Take stock of the seniors’ important paperwork, such as wills, advance directives, living wills, health care proxy and power of attorney documents, etc. Enlist the services of an attorney to confirm that everything is in order, and place all documents together in a secure location.
It can also be helpful to have a trusted third party, such as a doctor, lawyer, or clergy leader, speak with your elderly parents about the eventual need for assistance with financial management before initiating a discussion with them yourself. And bear in mind that it may take more than one conversation for seniors to begin to feel comfortable in trusting someone else to manage their finances. Contact CareWorks Health Services Online with any questions about our senior home care Huntington Beach and the surrounding areas depend on.