If your senior loved one is still living at home and is still handling their own finances, it’s a good idea to speak with them about how they spend their money. Forgetfulness, scammers, and other issues can make your loved one vulnerable to financial problems, and it’s important for you to nip these issues in the bud before the consequences devastate your loved one financially. Careage Senior Living has compiled a list of some conversations you should have with your senior loved one about finance.
Warn Them About Scams
Phone and email scammers make it a point to prey on older people, especially those living alone. These scammers may pose as a grandchild or other family member saying they’re in trouble and asking for money or as a government worker asking for their Social Security number. Scammers often request payment in gift cards, which makes it impossible to retrieve the lost funds. Make sure your loved one knows never to give anyone money, gifts, or personal information over email or the phone without checking with you first.
Watch Out For Duplicate Purchases
As we grow older, we tend to have some trouble remembering small details. Some of these details may include which kinds of groceries or goods we’ve already purchased. You may notice your loved one seemingly “stocking up” on canned foods or clothing items when they already have plenty. If you don’t live with your loved one, you may need to start monitoring these purchases or accompanying them while shopping. You might also want to take a picture of their fridge or closet to show them while you go out in case they don’t believe they already have what they want to buy.
Keep Track of Bills
Studies have shown that missing bill payments can be a common indicator of impending Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you ask your loved one directly about their bills, they’re likely to say that everything is taken care of, but you shouldn’t always take them at their word. Ask your loved one to send you evidence of their paying bills, or see if there’s a way that you can set up email notifications that will let both of you know when a bill has been paid.
We hope that we were able to give you some pointers on what sorts of financial issues can plague your senior loved one and how to avoid these problems. For more information for caregivers about independent senior living, check out the Careage blog.