If mail is piling up, your parents are making unusual purchases, or if their memory is poor it may be time for someone to help handle finances. It can be a frustrating process for the entire family when parents age and money becomes a problem. But, feuds over who is responsible for the care can diminish family bonds. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make the process go a bit smoother, despite the level of care your parent needs and the amount of money they have left.
1.) Prepare everyone. This process can be simplified by talking to your parents before money is an issue. This dialogue will allow your parents to feel more comfortable talking about their finances. And, you will have a better idea of what to expect in the future.
2.) Take care of yourself. It’s important to start by taking time for yourself to effectively take care of anyone else. This could mean a lot of things to various individuals. But, at the end of the day it’s making time for you and the things that give you energy. You can’t help others until you’re well yourself. As a caregiver, you can be pushed to your limit. You could be at risk to suffer from stress and sleep deprivation. Without maintaining your own health, you could soon be the one needing care.
3.) Get them organized. Ensuring that your parents are organized is essential. Create a record of account numbers, passwords, and other important financial information. This will make it much easier for you, when it comes time for your help.
4.) Enlist a support system. Many times, if family and friends all pitch in the duties can be spilt up to a manageable list (that’s free of charge). Think about communities that you or your parents are a part of. Could anyone from church run mom or dad to the grocery store every Wednesday? Or mow the lawn? You would be surprised at the support that is available when you ask.
5.) Stick to their budget. Although it’s hard when a parent needs in-home care, it’s often necessary. Be honest with people at various facilities that you’re looking at. Some communities have options for people with little money. But, at the end of the day you should be focused on providing affordable and necessary care for your parent.
Through preparation, care and a set budget, the process of helping your parents with their finances can be far less daunting. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice in this time of need.