Financial caregiving typically involves assisting your elderly relatives manage money, pay bills, submit insurance and benefit claims, and a support a variety of other financial responsibilities. Helping your loved one manage finances ensures that they will be able to pay for necessities and live more comfortably. Like most caregiving responsibilities, these supportive tasks often start out small and increase over time as your loved ones require more assistance.
Here are several financial caregiving tips for you and your loved ones:
- Plan ahead. Make a financial caregiving or support plan before a loved one becomes ill or disabled. Prior planning ensures your loved one is fully involved and can also help avoid conflict by ensuring all family members are aware of their roles and responsibilities.
- Know where to find important documents. Create a file for bank statements, wills, insurance policies, and other financial records. Make sure your loved one understands that you don’t want to pry into personal financial information—your main concern is knowing what documents to look for and where to find them in an emergency.
- Respect your loved one’s opinions and desire for autonomy. Do not become overly protective and begin making decisions that your loved one can make on their own. Give as much control as possible to the person you’re caring for and involve them in financial decisions.
- Share financial decisions with the family. It may be efficient for one person to perform regular responsibilities, such as paying bills or making deposits. However, it is important to share this information with other family members and involve them in the decision-making process.
- Be aware of your potential liability. Any time you agree to share financial responsibility with or for someone else, you may be taking on unexpected risks. Consult with a lawyer before you sign any legal documents and make sure you understand any potential liabilities.
Juggling your work and caregiving responsibilities can be challenging. Remember to reach out for assistance if you need it. Contact your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to request referrals for all of your eldercare concerns, including consultation with experts for a wide variety of financial issues.
Your EAP also offers practical financial information and planning tools. Designed to provide you with what you need to reach your financial goals, the EAP’s financial services program offers objective and targeted information on a wide range of topics. For more information, contact your Component EAP or send an email to email@example.com.