Facing difficulty with monthly expenses, leaving unopened bills or overdue notices lying around, and an inability to budget effectively are among the signs your senior loved one probably needs some assistance with finances. Still, you should bring up this topic in a way that comes across as helpful, since many seniors understandably consider money matters private. Express genuine concern, but do so while offering solutions like the ones suggested below.
Set Up a Budget
If you’re primarily concerned about your loved one’s inability to cover monthly expenses, work with him or her to set up a budget. After essential expenses are taken care of, look for ways to save, which might include:
• Eliminating redundant services (e.g., switching to one provider for TV, Internet, and phone)
• Spacing out the purchases of big-ticket items that aren’t absolutely necessary
• Finding smart ways to save (e.g., preparing more home-cooked meals together to reduce expenses related to eating out)
Determine an Allowance
If you’re seriously concerned about your loved one’s ability to manage money, another option is a weekly or monthly allowance. Ideally, this is done on a voluntary basis and you and your loved one agree on how much the allowance is and how it’s handled.
Suggest Automatic Bill Paying
Is your loved one’s main issue forgetting to pay certain bills on time? If this is the case, automatic bill paying is one way to minimize this problem while still allowing your loved one to have control over his or her finances.
Cognitive issues such as forgetting to pay bills may indicate your loved one needs help with other everyday tasks. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Recommend Expense-Tracking Apps
If your loved one is comfortable with technology, there are plenty of apps available that can keep track of his or her daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. Mint, YNAB, and Expensify are among the top expense-tracking apps recommended by U.S. News & World Report.
From free cups of coffee to lower interest rates on credit cards, there are many discounts offered to older adults. Help your loved one find savings opportunities like these that would likely benefit him or her.
Consult a Financial Advisor
Some seniors have fairly complex finances, especially if things like retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, and investment properties are involved. Seek input from a financial advisor so your loved one can make well-informed decisions about how to manage his or her finances, savings, and investments.
The many tasks involved in helping your loved one handle his or her finances may seem daunting, and the extra worry can take a toll on your wellbeing. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Oshkosh families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Help Out Now & Then
Some seniors are reluctant to turn to family members for financial support. However, your loved one may be more open to letting you lend a hand now and then if you do it in a way that comes across as being helpful instead of offering a handout. You’ll have to choose your moments, but you can try:
• Picking up the tab for your next meal out together
• Paying for groceries when your loved one has a lot to buy
• Offering some cash to cover out-of-pocket prescription costs
Consider a Financial Power of Attorney
You don’t have to wait until your loved one is no longer capable of making sensible financial decisions to take this step. It’s entirely possible to proactively set up a financial power of attorney at a time when your loved one can still be fully involved in this process.
Financial management is a challenge for most people, and it can be even more difficult for aging adults. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Oshkosh at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. If you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (920) 216-6276.