Dementia affects every aspect of a senior’s life, and living with symptoms such as confusion and forgetfulness could affect the ability to manage finances as well. After a dementia diagnosis, make sure to take the following steps to help your aging loved one manage his or her financial concerns.
1. Plan Ahead
The best time to talk about finances is right now. While it may be difficult to think about the future, understand that many important legal decisions are easier to make while your parent has his or her full mental capacity. Planning ahead also helps you prevent disasters before they happen. For example, it’s much easier to pay a single overdue bill than try to haggle with bill collectors over long past due accounts.
Financial planning is just one of the many things your parent may need help with. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Rockwall, Texas, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Know When to Step In
Seniors are often protective of their finances, so your loved one may get defensive when you first try to step in. Try to create an open atmosphere so your loved one knows he or she can talk to you about his or her financial situation. Then, watch for signs that your loved one is having difficulty managing money, such as unpaid bills, strange new accounts, or falling for scams.
3. Promote Independence
Using technology, you can help your loved one manage his or her finances independently. For example, you could help your parent automate paying bills so he or she never misses an important due date. Seniors who can’t write checks or remember their PIN number may do better with a newer card that uses a chip so they can still perform tasks such as paying for groceries.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Rockwall seniors can depend on.
4. Create a Budget Together
Seniors with dementia should have some say regarding where their money goes while they’re still capable of making sound decisions. Sit down with your loved one and discuss his or her monthly bills and income. Then, make decisions together about changes that need to be made. While you may still need to guide your loved one toward the best options, having him or her on the same page makes it easier to keep the finances in order.
5. Make Legal Arrangements
Having legal arrangements in place allows you or another caregiver to quickly step in when necessary. For instance, your loved one should have a cosigner on the account who can make payments if he or she becomes incapacitated. Help your parent set up a financial power of attorney, which also designates beneficiaries on his or her insurance policies.
6. Safeguard Against Scams
For seniors with dementia, even a single scam could wipe out their entire savings. Criminals consider seniors to be easy prey, which means your family must be vigilant. Help your loved one avoid being a target by taking him or her off of telemarketing lists, and consider signing him or her up for a private post office box where financial correspondence can be delivered. Then, ask your loved one’s other caregivers to watch for signs of scams so you can take action before they damage your loved one’s financial standing.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Rockwall families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Call (972) 722-7833 today to speak with a qualified and friendly Care Manager and find out the best in-home care plan for your aging parent.