As aging advances and cognition declines, one of the most critical vulnerabilities in the senior population is exposure to their finances.
Continual scam calls and emails are frequent and not only bothersome, for the elderly, they can also put their retirement and savings at risk. While many banks provide education on what to look out for that may indicate a possible phishing scheme, some seniors may not understand how creative scammers can be in their attempts to gain access to funds.
Your loved one or parent may want to continue handling their own financial affairs as long as possible. But even just paying bills can be a pitfall for problems, including errors such as paying a wrong amount, overpaying a bill, or forgetting to pay the bill, resulting in late fees and other consequences.
At some point, bill paying can be assigned to a family member or a bookkeeping vendor. But discussing finances is always sensitive. It can be difficult to start that conversation with a loved one to point out that it may be in their best interest for someone else to assist them with this task. However, many times, once a trusted source handles the task of bill paying and other financial matters, the senior is often quite relieved because they may have been struggling with managing their finances for some time but didn’t want to burden a loved one.
Many transition the task of delegating assistance with financial affairs at the time they decide to move into Assisted Living or Memory Care. If transferring the responsibility of financial oversight is done at the time of a person’s new living transition, it may be a softer approach to the apparent need for better financial management.
The vulnerability of financial mishandling is often minimized when living in an Assisted Living due to additional oversight of visitors, minimized calls, and the opportunity for residents to have staff available as a sounding board to share concerns about any potential odd calls or emails, which could provide a layer of protection.