Nothing elevates the stress level more than trying to care for an aging loved one and then finding needed extra care is outside the budget. According to the AARP, money can be a very sensitive topic at the heart of most conversations with your loved ones regarding housing, health care, and other expenses. And, that one thing that family caregivers often find surprising is that most health insurance, including Medicare, pay for little, if any, of the costs of care in a nursing home, assisted living residence, or help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or meals.  It’s important to look over finances and speak with your local Area Agency on Aging, Elder Law Attorney or Financial Planner regarding upcoming expenses.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are individuals who make their living by taking advantage of seniors during this vulnerable time. There are phone scams, so-called “rubber chicken seminars” by organizations “advising” on options, mail scams and even family members who may try to steal money through less than altruistic means.  Keeping track and checking in are two important practices in keeping your loved one’s safe from financial exploitation.

Some things to consider:

  • Overall Financial Situation
  • Retirement Savings
  • Long Term Care Policies (Do you have one and what does it cover?)
  • Housing Options and Safety
  • Single or married
  • Family close by or far away
  • Vehicles
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • What are your wishes?