Adult children that have become family caregivers to an elderly parent sacrifice their own time and energy to make sure their aging mom or dad has what they need. Besides keeping them clean and fed, many family caregivers find that they also need to step in and assist with financial matters.
Whether financial responsibility comes on fast, as from an accident or sudden illness, or takes place over many years, turning over finances to a caregiver is hard for many seniors to do. There are certain things that adult children and elderly parents can do to make the transition smooth and stress free.
One of the best things for an adult child to do is to start talking about financial information early on, before anything serious happens. It’s much easier for everyone to start talking about how an elderly parent wants to handle their financial situation should something happen in the future before things get more difficult. At the very least, seniors can gather all their financial documentation in one place, such as a folder or large envelope, for the future. Seniors can also specify their preferences for what they want to happen.
Even if the conversations are difficult, it’s helpful for family caregivers to get an idea of their loved one’s needs based on their assets and expenses. It’s a good time to start thinking about living trusts, wills and estates and power of attorney and how these situations should be handled in the future. Key professionals like estate planners, accountants, and attorneys can assist seniors and their adult children in these matters.
Family caregivers should start managing their elderly parent’s finances slowly, if possible. One example is to start paying the monthly bills for them, or helping them balance the checkbook every week. Many family members ask elderly parents to ask that copies of bank statements or investment reports be sent to them as well. Caregivers can accompany seniors to meetings with their financial advisor so they are in the loop when it comes to money matters.
Sometimes elderly parents undergo a serious accident or illness that leads to a family caregiver stepping in immediately to handle finances. This route requires more time and effort because if none of the legal documentation, such as power of attorney, has been done, it can take a while to get through the legal system. Again, an estate attorney can help family members do this as fast as possible.
Whenever money and finances are involved, people can be very sensitive, jealous, or suspicious. Family caregivers can protect themselves from accusations of misuse by keeping copies of transactions, bank statements, receipts and more. Whether they are being held accountable to the elderly parent, siblings, or to someone else, a paper trail will help show that everything is being done properly.
Family caregivers take on a lot of responsibility when they see their aging parent can no longer live independently. Financial matters are just one of the duties that responsible and loving adult children manage on behalf of their elderly mom or dad.
If you or someone you know needs caregiver services in Mankato, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.