One of the hardest things about having a loved one with dementia is watching them slowly lose their independence. As the disease progresses, they may no longer be able to drive, cook, or even care for their hygiene. Another area that is often affected by dementia is a person’s ability to handle finances.
For many of us, our parents or grandparents taught us the basics of personal finance and money management. But for those with dementia, even simple tasks like balancing a checkbook or paying bills on time can become overwhelming. So how do you know when your loved one is having difficulty maintaining their finances? New Dementians explains below.
Signs To Look For
If your loved one was recently diagnosed with dementia, there are many things to learn when it comes to helping them maintain their quality of life. Learning these signs that they can no longer manage their finances is an excellent start:
1. They are consistently forgetting to pay their bills on time or are making late payments.
2. They are spending more money than they normally do or are making impulse purchases.
3. They are hiding money or valuables from you.
4. They are being contacted by debt collectors or have bills that are going unpaid.
5. They seem confused when talking about money or their financial situation.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to have a talk with your loved one about their finances and see what steps need to be taken to protect them from financial exploitation or ruin.
Talking To Your Loved One
The first step is to have a conversation with them about their current financial situation and see if they’re open to help in managing their finances. If not, you might consider getting a power of attorney. Doing so will allow you to make financial decisions on their behalf.
Taking Care of Your Loved One at Home
Many seniors are able to remain at home with the right level of care and support from family and friends. This can include getting help around the house, scheduling medical appointments, providing transportation, setting up meals (or delivering them), and offering companionship. Consider having a conversation with your senior loved one about their wishes and researching available options that can help them stay where they are while allowing them to live safely and independently.
Learn Their Expenses
The next step is to learn about your loved one’s current monthly expenses. This includes things like mortgage or rent, utilities, groceries, medication, and transportation costs. Once you have a clear picture of their monthly expenses, you can start working on a budget.
If your loved one is struggling to make ends meet, there are a few options to consider. Moving them to assisted living and/or selling their home can help. You can also start paying your loved one’s bills directly or setting up automatic payments from their bank account.
Learn Their Benefits
Lastly, it’s crucial to stay up to date on your loved one’s benefits and entitlements. These can include things like pension benefits, government benefits, or veteran benefits. Make sure you know what benefits your loved one is entitled to and how often they need to be renewed. Keeping on top of this will help ensure your loved one’s financial security now and in the future.
Moving to Senior Living
One option you may want to consider is moving your loved one into senior living, where they can receive assistance with managing their finances and other daily tasks. You could also help them sell their home and use the proceeds to pay for their care. If you go this route, use an online calculator to estimate how much they can make from the sale.
Taking care of our senior loved ones is one of the most important things we can do as they age. Part of taking care of them includes ensuring their finances are in order. If you notice any signs that your senior loved ones can no longer handle their finances, don’t hesitate to take action. The sooner you do, the better off they’ll be.
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about my results-driven dementia care design? Visit NewDementians.com today!