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Aging Parents and Their Finances

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Aging parents’ finances are the most common issue we are asked to help solve at AgingParents.com, particularly when an elder has any kind of cognitive impairment.  Dementia, for example, often robs the person of the ability to keep track of money, or to make safe financial decisions.  

Your aging parents with dementia may be unable to see that they are impaired. Even worse, it may be so subtle that various family members cannot see that their parent is impaired. Family members, therefore, make judgments based on incomplete information, which can create family conflicts. Elderly finances is a frequent area where we provide expert analysis and direction.

We Can Provide an Objective Analysis of Parents’ Finances and Dementia

We may recommend psychological testing for cognitive impairment, or an evaluation of the parent by a homecare professional. We can help family members better understand the situation and mediate a workable agreement. The true value of our services is in helping families objectively see the problem of their parents’ finances and understand the different ways in which it can be solved.

Because many people now are living longer than ever, they experience many problems associated with having a long life. One of these problems is outliving their resources.  We have met families who have been able to keep an infirm aging parent at home for years, but as time passes, and savings dwindle, there are few options. Sometimes a family needs clear direction about what the choices are for maintaining the elder. 

Should Your Elderly Parent Move in with You?

We work with many families where a son or daughter is considering moving a frail aging parent in with them. We help them explore the pros and cons and all available alternatives so that they can make a reasoned decision. If a care facility is the choice they make, we help them become good consumers in evaluating the types of care facilities available. We tell them the hidden pitfalls, the legal implications and the advantages and disadvantages of spending resources for this kind of care as compared with any other option available.

Help with Legal Documents

We also get directly involved in looking over the elder's legal documents to determine who has the power to make financial decisions and whether that needs to be changed. For example, if Dad has significant dementia, he should no longer handle your parents’ finances. We determine what the family trust says about changing the trustee from Dad to the person who has been appointed as the successor trustee. We then advise the family about meeting the legal requirements set out in the trust documents.

Reaching Family Agreement

If a conflict arises over making such a transition, we may suggest a family meeting to get everyone's point of view and work together on reaching a family agreement. We encourage every person in the group, including the elder, to voice his or her opinion and concerns.

We work with families who do not have the resources to pay for outside caregiver help and assist them in developing a plan that allows fairness to all involved in family caregiving. We help them evaluate the real cost of caregiving and address the issue of whether a family member should be compensated for caregiving and how that can be done.

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