Guest Contributor: Andrea Needham
If you have aging family members, you are probably doing your best to make sure they can live comfortably and independently. It can be painful to watch a senior loved one lose their ability to manage their own affairs. However, there may come a time when advanced age or the loss of a spouse might bring about a need for familial assistance. When an elderly individual begins to lack wherewithal, their finances are among the first things that will suffer. There are things you can do as a trusted family member to help get things under control before matters spiral out of hand.
Look for the Signs
When you start feeling as if your senior loved one might be in a position where they can not handle their finances anymore, take the time to verify a few telltale signs. Physical hindrances can be plain to see and may be relatively easy to discuss with your aging family member. These might include fading vision, an inability to get around, or bodily illness of any sort.
Issues with your loved one’s mental faculties or memory can be much more complicated and difficult to approach. If you notice unopened mail, strange purchases, or a worrying level of forgetfulness, it may be in your family member’s best interest for you to intervene.
Talk About Taking Over Their Finances
Even if it seems like the right decision to take over your loved one’s financial matters, it is important to make efforts to talk about the issue rationally. Forcing the issue can be seen as a betrayal of trust by the family member in question.
Make sure your loved one understands how you can help by gathering up their information, organizing records, and making sure bills are paid on time. When the time is right, consider broaching the subject of power of attorney. If your loved one grants you power of attorney over their affairs, you will have the legal authority to speak on their behalf regarding a number of important matters as outlined in the terms of your document.
Seek Additional Help
Taking over someone else’s financial affairs in addition to your own obligations can be an overwhelming commitment. First and foremost, reach out to other family members who have a sincere desire to help ease the burdens on your senior loved one. You might also consult with a financial advisor who can help manage your loved one’s money. Some experts even refer to certain financial advisors as financial caregivers for their experience in aiding the elderly in monetary matters.
Consider Senior Living Options
Should you determine that your loved one truly can not manage their finances without help, it may be time to discuss alternate senior living options. Professional senior care placement specialists like Senior Living Concierge Services can help you find the right home for your aging family and assist with a smooth transition. At the same time, it will be necessary to think about selling your family member’s current house. Use a home proceeds calculator to get an idea of the home’s worth so you can approach the market with a strong level of preparedness.
Witnessing someone you love as they lose their grasp on an independent life can be hard on you, but it is harder on the loved one themself. You can help your elderly family member transition into a comfortable state of living, even if the situation is overwhelming at first. All it takes is open communication and a genuine desire to grant a worry-free peace of mind.