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Help for Families Managing the Finances of a Senior Loved One

By Kevin McClarren, 6:24 pm on

There are times when the families of aging parents or loved ones may need to aid in a senior’s financial management. Older people may have increased difficulty in these tasks due to poor eyesight, lack of financial knowledge or shaky hands that can no longer sign necessary documents. Once unable to handle daily finances, seniors can be at risk for credit damage, foreclosures, utility disconnections and even financial scammers.

The offer of financial assistance is a delicate subject and the need for help can be embarrassing for a senior. Aging adults often feel that asking for assistance leaves them vulnerable and many fear losing their independence. As a leading provider of senior care in Warren, we know that many families have their loved one’s best interest in mind. However, the sharing or relinquishing control of personal finances can be a stressful subject, so it is important to not only assist, but to involve your loved one as much as possible in the decision making process.

How You Can Help

Managing someone else’s finances can be a challenge. Some seniors will need help only with certain tasks while others may need someone to completely take over control. Identify every source of income including social security benefits, pension and retirement funds, bank accounts and stocks. The identification of debt is equally important and can include a mortgage, car loan or credit card debt. After, you’ve identified the major areas where help is needed, the following can help to organize and better manage your loved one’s finances:

  • Automatic payments can be arranged to be paid on a monthly basis, something that can be especially helpful for utilities, television and telephone bills. This can help ensure that your loved one does not miss payments and gives them the opportunity to review bills at their convenience.
  • A joint checking account will allow a senior to maintain some control while allowing a family member to write checks, withdraw funds and make deposits. This is also a great way to monitor the account to make sure that no suspicious activity is taking place on their accounts.
  • A financial power of attorney signed by the senior can allow a family member to act as the senior’s representative. This can encompass all of the senior’s financial management or be limited to specific actions such as payment of monthly bills, yearly tax return preparation or investment decision making.

Financial management is often one of the early signs that your loved one may need additional help at home. Help plan for your loved one’s future and reach out to Home Care Assistance of Warren today. While we specialize in live-in care, we also provide part-time care in Warren, where seniors can receive help from a professional and highly trained caregiver a few hours a day or a few days a week. To request more information or a complimentary, in-home consultation, call 908.450.9400 and speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.