Among the hardest struggles for older adults is accepting the necessity for help with financial matters. Personal finances are both extremely personal and a representation of our independence, and adult children specifically are sometimes met with opposition when helping elderly parents with finances.
Yet for a number of reasons, such as the ever-growing incidence of senior scams and cognitive decline, it is crucial that you make certain the assets your senior loved ones have earned over the years are secure, and that expenditures are paid correctly and also on time. It is a concern that must be taken care of delicately and with diplomacy. Try these tips for an easy transition to helping elderly parents with finances:
- The initial conversation. Approaching a senior loved one about the need for help with personal finances can be challenging. Keeping respect for the senior during the entire process is vital, making it apparent that your intentions are not to “take over,” but to work alongside the older adult to produce an approach for effectively managing finances.
- Organizing documents. When you’ve set up a feasible financial plan with your loved one, obtain copies of all relevant documents and place into one easily-accessible location, including bank/brokerage statements, insurance plans, mortgage/reverse mortgage paperwork, Social Security payments, wills, etc.
- Accessing accounts. Work with an established and dependable financial planner or elder law attorney to obtain access to your loved one’s financial accounts to enable you to write checks on his/her behalf and facilitate any other necessary transactions.
- Including other members of the family. Frequent meetings with other members of the family who may have a vested interest in the senior’s financial matters ensures everyone is up to date and on the same page, and can help prevent future conflict. Identify someone to take notes of every decision made, and supply each family member with a copy.
- Planning for the future. As your loved one’s health or cognitive ability change in the years to come, it should be important to have a strategy in place for additional action that could be needed, such as becoming Power of Attorney for the older adult, and for end-of-life decisions, such as asset distribution.
If the senior is resistant to your advice about his or her finances, it may sometimes help to bring in a dependable third party professional, such as a financial advisor – and sometimes even the senior’s primary care physician –to help your parent be aware of the importance of getting financial affairs in order now. You may also have to shelve the conversation for a little while and revisit this issue down the road.
Connect with Atlanta Home Care Partners for additional suggestions to help alleviate difficult conversations with the older adults you love, and to learn more about our dependable in home healthcare Atlanta and the surrounding communities depend on. Contact us online or call us anytime at (404) 228-0103 to schedule a free home care assessment.