As adults age, memory loss and other impairments can creep in that make it difficult to manage finances with ease. If you have an elderly loved one and are concerned that they are unable to handle their money on their own, you are not alone. Many individuals worry about this very thing and are unsure of the appropriate way to step in and lend a hand.
Fortunately, you can do something to help your loved ones. With a heavy dose of compassion and tact, elderly citizens will likely welcome the assistance that you offer. Below, you'll find several tips on knowing when it's time to step in and how to do so gracefully.
Are your elderly loved ones ready for outside assistance?
The first step is usually the hardest, and that is knowing if and when a senior citizen could use some additional aid. Today's world makes it difficult enough for healthy adults to manage their finances, let alone a vulnerable elderly citizen. If your loved one is showing signs of memory loss, physical suffering, or recently experienced the loss of a loved one, it may be time to speak up.
Broach the subject gently and let them know that you're doing so because you love and care for them. If they put up a fight, consider doing a bit of probing. The information you find may give you a great deal more insight into what financial struggles they are facing.
Some ways to begin investigating include:
- Speaking with the relative's friends and doctors – perhaps they've noticed similar things about your loved one
- Evaluating their checkbooks and bank statements
- Determining if they have been the victim of fraud or a financial scam
- Reviewing their monthly expenses
- Asking them to tell you more about their bank account
Do your best to understand where your loved one is coming from. Handing over financial control can be scary and takes a great deal of trust, particularly after they've been managing their money on their own for so many years.
Some of the best ways to help a senior manage their money can be by becoming an authorized signer on their account, setting up automatic bill payments, and appointing power of attorney. The more you can do to automate and organize their finances, the better it will be in the long run.
For further counsel and personal assistance with your aging loved ones, contact a Nassau County elder attorney at The Virdone Law Firm, P.C. We can work with you and your relative to create a solution that works.