For many of us, we understand how to care for our aging parents’ health and home, but what about their finances? For many families in America, finances are a very personal topic that is difficult for aging parents to hand over to their children to help manage. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, the experts at Choice Health Management are laying down some guidelines that may help you help your aging parents with their finances.
- Figure out if your parents need your help – anything from physical impairments or mental impairments to loss of the spouse that handled finances or parents who are immigrants and lack understanding of American tax procedures may cause you to determine they need your help.
- Discuss fully with your parents – if you determine that your aging loved one needs your help, voice your concerns, express possible consequences if the situation remains and discuss how you could assist them with their finances.
- Start the process – once you’ve done steps 1 and 2, jump in and take stock of the full situation. This should include tracking down lost documents, determining bills and identifying sources of income, bank accounts and investments.
- Consider joining accounts – you may want to make your assistance official by creating a joint account or single-owner account with an authorized signer.
- Other resources – familiarize yourself with the process for setting up a representative payee for social security benefits and financial power of attorney.
If these steps look like more than you can handle, there are professionals that may be able to help you. Talk to your local accountants, financial advisors or daily money management programs that offer support for elders.
Choice Health Management cares deeply about your loved one’s overall wellness and is happy to offer resources if you have questions about financial support for your loved one.
Moving at any time in your life is stressful, but it is especially stressful for an aging loved one. There are many emotions tied to leaving their home, depending on family and an assisted living staff, and in most cases, downsizing. However, there are ways you can help. In honor of Stress Awareness Month, the Choice Health Management team has come up with eight easy tips to keep stress low when moving your loved one into an assisted living facility.
- Get measurements – know and plan for the space your loved one is moving into. Consider creating a blueprint of where furniture and belongings will fit in the space.
- Take photos – another great idea is taking photos of the space. It can be difficult to remember exactly where the windows are, where the bathroom is and where doors are located. This will also help your loved one familiarize themselves with the space before they get there.
- Label belongings – labeling belongings, including clothing, can be extremely helpful for the facility staff as well as your loved one. This way, they won’t fear losing items in the move.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule – create a calendar that includes the facilities activity schedule as well as a schedule of family and friends that plan to visit in the coming weeks. This will allow your loved one to anticipate these events each week.
- Be positive – try to keep all comments positive and find a way to turn your loved ones negative observations into positive ones.
- Listen – if your loved one has concerns or fears, allow them to voice these and be a loving ear for them.
- Be lighthearted – tell stories, give ideas and talk about loved ones to keep the mood light.
- Don’t rush – allow yourself plenty of time to help your loved one and do not rush them in the moving process as this can add unnecessary stress to the day(s).
We know this transition can be hard on the family, and we want to do everything we can to make you and your loved one comfortable at our facilities. Call us today, and let us know how we can help!