Admitting they need assistance with managing their finances may not be easy for most seniors, but if you fail to step in, your loved one could be vulnerable to scams and other serious financial risks. Therefore, you’ll need to find ways to help your loved one with his or her expenses and financial accounts without overstepping. Here are some ways family caregivers can help seniors manage their finances.
1. Look for Warning Signs
There’s no set time frame for when family caregivers need to step in and help their loved ones. Some adults manage their finances well into their senior years. However, other people may need help in their late 50s or early 60s. As a caregiver, you need to know the warning signs of poorly managed finances, such as piled-up bills, forgetfulness, unusual purchases, and collection notices. These are signs your loved one could be having difficulty maintaining his or her finances, and your family should step in immediately.
Forgetfulness and poorly managed finances 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 home care. Lincoln 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.
2. Establish a Budget
Knowing how much to spend and what to cut back on can help your loved one avoid overspending. Help your loved one create a budget based on his or her income, expenses, and necessities. Your loved one doesn’t need to give up all the things he or she wants, but those costs should never come before necessities such as medication, food, shelter, clothing, and personal hygiene products.
3. Set Up Automatic Bill Payments
Most financial institutions offer their customers automated bill payment for free. You can help your loved one set up payments for monthly expenses, eliminating the need to fill out checks or money orders to pay bills directly each month. Instead, the bank will deduct the money from your loved one’s account on the payment due date. You should still monitor your loved one’s bank account to make sure no errors have occurred.
The many tasks involved in managing your loved one’s finances may seem daunting, and the extra worry could 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. Lincoln families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
4. Search for Discounts
Many seniors qualify for discounts at local retailers and restaurants. Taking advantage of these deals can save your loved one money without reducing the number of activities and purchases he or she makes. For example, if there’s a free senior center in town, your loved one can sign up for that center instead of paying a monthly fee for membership in a local club. Your loved one can also eat free at some restaurants during the week, reducing the amount of money spent on groceries. Help your loved one find out what he or she qualifies for, such as deals on utilities, medications, social activities, food, transportation, and healthcare.
5. Monitor Credit Reports
One of the biggest mistakes seniors and family caregivers can make is to shrug off elder scams. Even if your loved one is alert and you’re active in his or her daily life, he or she could still be targeted for identity fraud and various scams. However, monitoring your loved one’s credit report can reduce those odds and help him or her maintain a good financial status. You can request a free credit report each year or sign up with management companies that monitor your loved one’s credit activity and report any fraudulent and usual transactions.
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 Lincoln home care services 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. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.