There are a number of reasons that elderly parents suffer from financial duress. From cognitive impairment to illness to medication problems, it doesn’t take much for everyday expenses and unpaid bills to cause financial trouble.

It’s important to be aware of the warning signs that your elderly parents need help with finances before things spiral out of control. Knowing these signs can help you not only protect your parents’ assets but also help them get treatment, if necessary.

How to Know When Elderly Parents Need Help

Statistics from The National Council on Aging show that 29% of homeowners over 62 have difficulty or need help with one or more activities of daily living which includes:

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Money management
  • Shopping
  • Using the telephone

If you notice a problem in one area, there might be problems in another.

A Place for Mom’s Psychology Expert, Dr. Melissa Henston, provides some guidance on how to spot whether there might be financial problems that often signal other issues for your elderly parent.

“It’s often hard for parents and senior loved ones to admit that they need help and no one wants to lose their independence. However, daily living tasks sometimes get to be too much as we age and it’s important for family members and loved ones to step up and address the problem when this happens — even if it is painful. The problems will not go away and usually need to be addressed in a timely manner.”

Warning Signs That Elderly Parents Need Help With Their Finances

Here are some warning signs that your parents may need assistance with their finances:

1. Bills and mail are piled up and unopened.

Take a look around your parents’ house to see whether there are stacks of unopened or unsorted mail. Pay attention to statements from credit card or mortgage companies, notices from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or utility bills.

If it appears that bills or other mail are not getting opened, either because your parent is slowing down cognitively or is sick, you need to address the problem immediately.

2. Creditors are calling.

You can check caller ID logs to keep track of calls and see whether creditors are contacting your elderly parents. It’s always a good idea to keep track of an increase in phone calls from…

This article was sourced from A Place for Mom.

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