Helping Your Elderly Loved Ones Remain Financially Stable
Caring for elderly loved ones is an important, and sometimes difficult, transition. Roles are reversed as younger family members begin caring for aging parents or other older relatives. As you and your elder loved ones work through this transition, it’s important to get a clear understanding of their financial needs and goals as they enter their golden years. Keeping an open dialog and creating a strong support system is crucial to supporting these goals and helping to prevent financial elder abuse.
HOW TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT FINANCES
It’s never easy to talk about finances, especially with family. Below are some conversation starters to help you ease into a discussion while maintaining your elder family member’s confidence.
- What’s financially important to you? This question helps show your elder loved ones you care about their financial security. By listening instead of dominating the conversation, you can help make a better plan with them.
- Where are your important documents in case of an emergency? It’s important to know where your elder loved ones keep documents like birth certificates, Social Security cards, and financial statements. They may not be comfortable giving you access to these documents right away, but knowing where they are and how to access them can be an important first step.
SPOTTING FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE
Financial elder abuse can take many forms, such as fake charity solicitations, telemarketing scams, and identity theft. While the signs of elder financial abuse can vary, some of the most common signs include:
- Creditors calling and/or leaving voicemails
- Collection agencies requesting payment via phone or mail
- Ignored or unopened bills
- Out-of-character and/or large, expensive purchases
DISCUSS POWER OF ATTORNEY
Power of attorney appoints someone to manage your elder loved one’s affairs once they are unable to do so. This process legalizes the transfer of power and can help avoid future issues, as there is a predetermined decision-maker.
Learning about elder financial abuse is crucial to keeping your loved ones and their finances safe. Visit slfcu.org/SecurityArticles for more information about protecting yourself and others from fraud.
Another crucial part of preventing elder abuse is reducing isolation. If you or an elder loved one could use a helping hand or peer support, these community resources can help!
City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs. This department has dedicated services to help older adults and can connect you to other community-based resources for transportation assistance, hot meal deliveries, and more. cabq.gov/seniors
Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington. The Bonnie Dallas Senior Center offers a wide range of programs to older adults in the Farmington area, including meal services, transportation services, and a variety of activities ranging from arts and crafts to line dancing. fmtn.org/200/Senior-Center
Livermore Area Recreation & Park District 50+ Programs and Services. Through the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District, older adults can participate in classes and programs, take group trips, and receive housing, meal, and technology support. larpd.org/departments/SeniorServices
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