One of the most difficult issues for the seniors is recognizing the need for assistance with financial matters. Personal finances are both very personal and a representation of self-sufficiency and adult children are often met with hesitancy when attempting to step in to help with regards to seniors and finances.
Yet for a variety of reasons, such as the growing frequency of senior scams and cognitive decline, it is vital that you are positive the financial assets your senior loved ones have obtained over time are protected and secure, and that expenditures are paid properly and promptly. It’s a matter that should be dealt with sensitively and with diplomacy. These tips can help make for an easy transition to assisting a senior loved one with finance management:
- The first conversation. Approaching a parent with regard to the need for assistance managing finances can be difficult. Keeping a respectful manner toward the older adult through the whole process is immensely important, making it evident that your objective is not to “take over,” but to work with the senior to create a plan for successfully managing finances.
- Organizing documents. When you’ve set up an achievable financial plan with your loved one, gather copies of all pertinent documents into one easily-accessible location, including wills, bank statements, mortgage/reverse mortgage paperwork, insurance policies, Social Security payments, etc.
- Accessing accounts. Work with a trusted elder law attorney or financial planner to obtain access to the senior’s financial accounts to enable you to write checks and conduct any other necessary transactions on their behalf.
- Include other family members. Regular meetings with all family members who may have a vested involvement in the loved one’s financial matters can confirm everyone is on the same page and well-informed, and can help in preventing future conflict. Designate someone to document all decisions made, and provide each family member with a copy.
- Planning for the future. As your loved one’s health or cognitive ability change in the future, it is important to have a plan in place for additional action that may be needed, like becoming Power of Attorney for the senior, as well as end-of-life decisions, like asset distribution.
If you’re running in to resistance on the issue of seniors and finances, it may be helpful to bring in a reliable third party professional, such as a financial advisor or elder law attorney, occasionally even the loved one’s primary care physician – who can help the older adult comprehend the value of getting financial affairs in order now.
Contact Senior Home Care of Tucson, the top providers of home care in Tucson and the surrounding area, for additional tips to help alleviate difficult conversations with the seniors you love, and to find out more about our dependable in-home care solutions for seniors.