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5 Financial Red Flags for Family Caregivers

By Dr. Uchechi Wosu Isirimah – Owner | February 23, 2018

Caregiver in Alexandria VA: Financial red flags

Although you hate to admit it, there may be a time when your aging parent can no longer properly manage their own finances.

Perhaps you’ve seen some late notice bills in their mail or they constantly ask you to take them to the bank for more money. They may even be experiencing some memory issues in other areas of their life, making you wonder whether they are keeping up with money matters. As part of your overall elderly care responsibilities, you need to have a serious conversation with your elderly mom or dad about helping them manage their money.

So how can you know when your elderly parent is struggling with finances and when they are fine? The first step is to observe. Just as you would watch to see where they are mentally or physically struggling, it’s the same for financial stress. You can even ask pointed questions of them, such as their bill pay system and how their investments are performing. Another warning sign about finances includes piles of unopened mail, collection calls to their home or cell phone and even seeing services being shut off.


1. Physical Struggles

Assess your elderly parent’s physical abilities and how they relate to their needs. You’ll have to observe over time to make the connections between daily tasks and finances. For example, if your aging parent is struggling with arthritis, it can be hard to write out checks and address envelopes when they can’t see well or hold a pen.


2. Mental Stress

Sometimes, elderly parents get easily overwhelmed with financial issues, especially if they are dealing with mental health issues like depression, grief, or anxiety. Family caregivers can relieve a lot of this pressure by lending a hand with money matters. If they are experiencing the early signs of dementia, it may be stressful for them to keep up with bills. Family caregivers need to be sensitive when bringing up the topic with their elderly mom or dad.


3. Bill Management

If your elderly parent has a stack of unopened mail or you are discovering collection calls on their voicemail, it means that for some reason they aren’t keeping up with the bills. Similarly, if they seem to be spending money on unusual things so there isn’t much left over for bills, they could need some elderly care and budgeting help.


4. Complaints About Money

Elderly parents that aren’t budgeting wisely will quickly run out of money for expenses, especially when on a fixed income. If you observe your aging mom or dad frequently asking to borrow money from you or your siblings, it’s a good sign that they aren’t following a budget well. Similarly, they may complain more often about their lack of funds.


5. Unorganized Financial Information

A responsible adult should have all their financial information in one place where they can access the details for taxes or even in an emergency. If you are trying to help your aging mom or dad with any kind of financial duties and they are unsure of what assets they have and where to find them, it’s risky at best. You should work with them, their accountant and an estate attorney to create a living trust or some similarly structured plan to ensure financial elderly care for them and for their trustee.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Alexandria, VA, please contact the caring staff at BrightHope Home Care and Senior Care today.
Call us at 703-595-2878  ~ We serve all of Northern VA.


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