5 Ways Caregivers Can Help Seniors With Finances

Posted: 1/31/2018 11:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
If an elderly person requires a family caregiver to assist them in various aspects of daily living, it’s possible they also need help keeping up with their finances. Even if a senior is relatively healthy physically, they may be diminishing enough mentally that they forget to pay bills or can’t remember all their investment details. They may need their family caregiver to take over financial duties.

Here are 5 ways caregivers can help seniors with finances:

1. Assemble documents
If the elderly relative is still well enough to know about their finances, family caregivers should ask them to gather everything related to investments, income, assets and expenses into one folder or envelope. Then the details of their financial situation are all in one location, so that it is easy for a family caregiver to step in should the need arise.  If the family caregiver must take over quickly in an emergency and there is no financial map, they will have to do some digging through important papers, tax returns and more to get that information.

2. List Assets and Expenses
A family caregiver needs to have a complete picture of assets and expenses so they can properly manage the money. Often overlooked assets include second properties, safe deposit boxes, life insurance policies, and more. Many caregivers consult with a financial planner to help them create a plan that will beset benefit the elderly relative. If possible, caregivers should ask their elderly relative to contact their financial institutions to have copies of monthly statements sent to them so they can keep an eye on what is coming in and going out.

3. Pay Bills
A good way for family caregivers to start assuming responsibility for an elderly relative’s finances is to have them pay all the monthly bills. Often, elderly people forget to pay bills and it can cost them money in late fees and time in dealing with collections agencies. Family caregivers should help their elderly relative stay current on bills.

4. Get Legally Included
There is only so much a family caregiver can do without getting legally included on accounts or as the agent in a power of attorney document or as the trustee of a living trust. An attorney can help caregivers and seniors make these arrangements. Then, the caregiver will need to share those documents with the various financial institutions the elderly adult belongs to.

5. Document Everything
Taking on financial responsibility for an elderly person’s money is a big responsibility. Undoubtedly, other family members will want to hold the caregiver accountable. Caregivers should keep check duplicates, bank statements, receipts and anything else that helps preserve the paper trail of how the elderly person’s money is being spent.

Many seniors need a family caregiver to step in and manage their finances, but they may not believe they do or else they don’t know how to ask for help. With planning, family caregivers can step into the position of money manager with ease and effectiveness.

Learn more about caregivers