As a caregiver to your loved one, you are concerned with his or her health and well being. It is a big job, but you are providing a great service by taking on this role. Another aspect of a home care recipient’s life that needs to be looked into is their financial stability. Your role in helping your elderly parents depends on factors such as their mental and physical ability to manage their money themselves and whether they live with you or alone. You may be a consultant or take over their finances completely.
Unfortunately the elderly are often targets for telephone and mail scams. This can be particularly dangerous for those who live alone. Both finances and identity can be at risk.
The first level of defense is of course talking to your loved one. Do not expect them to relinquish control right away. Many people feel uncomfortable discussing money issues with others. The more comfortable they become the more they will share and let you partake in. If they are capable of managing their own finances you can share some tips and keep an eye on things. If they have health issues that prevent them from making good choices, such as dementia, it is wise to take a leading role.
In order to put safety precautions in place, direct deposit of pension benefits, Social Security, and other payments can be set up. Automated bill payment can be used as well. This will prevent late payments and make it easier for the senior to manage his/her money. Regularly shred unneeded documents with personal information. Credit reports can also give you insight into any activity that signals mistreatment of finances.
Another easy defense is to get a caller ID, so they know who is calling before they answer, and placing them on the National Do Not Call List. If they do not know the caller, instruct them to let it go to voice mail. If they never start a conversation with someone trying to scam them, they cannot get roped in.
For individuals receiving home care services, it is important to make sure that any caregiver entering the home has undergone a background check. Not only do you want someone who is going to provide the right health care, but you also want someone who is trustworthy. MAS Home Care ensures that our caregivers who provide home care in New Hampshire go through thorough screening.
Just as home health care is tailored to an individual’s needs, so should the way their finances are handled. Having monthly reviews can help you assess how much of a role you need to take. Don’t forget to respect their independence in the process by making them as involved as possible!
MAS Home Care provides in-home care services in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island.