According to collaborative research conducted by the AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, nearly a third of American adults provide some form of care for an elderly family member. Among other things, this has the potential to cause some real financial strain on families.
It is crucial that adults know how to help their elderly loved ones live on a budget. In some cases, a senior citizen may even qualify for free home healthcare services to help relieve some of the financial stress. Here, we discuss some of the best strategies for helping seniors manage their finances.
Be Proactive — Get Involved Early
The sooner you address potential financial problems, the easier they will be to fix. When helping an elderly family member manage their finances, you should try to get involved sooner rather than later. The longer you and your family wait to take action, the more difficult it may be to build a sustainable and workable budget.
Put the Proper Financial Safeguards in Place
When helping elderly and vulnerable family members, one of the keys is to put the proper safeguards in place to ensure that your loved one’s finances will be adequately protected. What does this mean? It depends entirely on the specific situation.
In some cases, you may need to restrict access. As the National Council on Aging (NCOA), senior citizens are often targets of financial abuse schemes. It is crucial that you protect your family member from investment scams and other types of financial fraud. This may require limiting a person’s ability to use their own funds.
In other cases, you may want to focus on limiting the number of decisions that your elderly family member has to make and limiting the number of financial tasks that they have to remember to do each month. If they have monthly bills to pay, it could make sense to set up an account that has automatic payments.
Create an Actual, Written Budget
Budgeting in a tight financial situation is a lot easier if you actually know the parameters. It is highly recommended that you and your family members work with your elderly loved one to determine their true financial needs as well as their available resources. With a written budget, you can figure out exactly what expenses need to stay and where cuts can be made.
Look for Opportunities to Cut Waste
Of course, a key part of budgeting is cutting back on unnecessary spending. Most people have areas where they are spending at least a little bit more than they truly need to be. It could be anything from paying for a premium cable subscription that your loved one does not even watch to an elderly person getting a ton of takeout or delivery food because they need help with meal preparation.
Beyond cutting back on ‘wasteful’ spending, senior citizens on tight budgets may also be eligible to get additional savings in other places. You may be able to cut down or smooth out insurance costs and utility expenses. Further, a senior may qualify for public benefits or a property tax exemptions. All options should be considered.
Free Home Healthcare Services May Be Available
At United Energy Workers Healthcare, we are proud to be a national leader in the home healthcare services industry. Our team provides supervisor home healthcare services at no cost to beneficiaries of EEOICPA and RECA. To get more information about we can do for your elderly loved one, please do not hesitate to contact our team today.