old man looking at billsAs our loved ones age, they can experience memory lapses and make little mistakes that are unlike them. From mismanaging medication schedules to forgetting to lock the front door, it is important for the family and friends of these seniors to help – especially when it comes to money management.

If left ignored, financial mistakes can spiral out of control into a larger problem. To avoid unpaid bills, late fees and scams that particularly target the elderly, know these 4 signs that your aging loved ones need help with their finances.

1. Mail Left in the Mailbox or Unopened

According to the National Council on Aging, 29% of homeowners over age 62 have difficulty with an Activity of Daily Living (ADL), including money management. When you visit your family member’s home, observe their actions as well as your surroundings. If mom or dad seems confused or depressed, this behavior change could impact daily activities. A pile of unopened mail on the kitchen table may indicate more than a personality shift; your loved one could be experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or another cognitive disease.

2. Confusion About Financial Tasks

When you were young, your parents likely taught you how to balance a checkbook and organize important financial documents. If your mom or dad has suddenly become confused by simple money management tasks, their mental state could be weakening. Forgetfulness in older individuals is a natural sign of aging, but neglecting the electricity bill or overdrawing an account is a cause for concern. If you find a loved one no longer has the mental capacity to handle his or her finances, it is time to step in and help.

3. Depleted Bank Accounts or Cash Savings

Older generations know the true value of a dollar. When many of our parents and grandparents were growing up, average wages were under two dollars an hour and gas cost 25 cents a gallon! If your aging loved ones were once financially savvy, but have recently made large purchases, it’s a sign of impaired judgment. Make sure the extravagant buys were not fraudulent, then offer to help get the finances back in order.

4. Frequent Calls from Telemarketers

Many fraudsters target the vulnerable elderly community with scams to steal their personal information. These older individuals – who may have symptoms of cognitive impairment – are more susceptible to IRS scams and the like because they cannot make sense of the phone calls. As a result, fraudsters can more easily gain access to their accounts. If you notice a lot of activity from telemarketers on your parents’ call log, have them registered on the National Do Not Call Registry.
It can be difficult when our loved ones are suddenly unable to perform everyday activities independently. You do not have to shoulder the responsibility of their care on your own. Avon Health Center is a skilled nursing facility for seniors who need short-term rehabilitation or long-term care. Contact us today to learn more about our admissions process!