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Helping Your Senior Loved One with Finances


Financial exploitation results in financial losses which are estimated conservatively at $2.9 billion per year. How would you feel if your senior loved one was one of those targeted for financial exploitation?  The National Institute on Aging defines financial exploitation as “the misuse, mismanagement, or exploitation of property, belongings, or assets.”  This article will discuss how you can help your senior loved one with their finances.  If you have a senior loved one, please read this article and discuss it together so that you can establish a sound financial plan.

Seniors often need help with finances for a variety of reasons.  Regardless of the reason, you can help in 3 very real ways.  Help with bills, help with mail, and help with banking and investing are all excellent ways to help your senior loved one manage their finances well.

In our last blog, “3 Common Scams for Seniors to Avoid,” we discussed scams in which your loved one is threatened with jail for non-compliance, false letters and emails requesting money, and computer popups and phone calls requesting money.  These are all types of financial exploitation, but they are not the only types.  Financial exploitation is often perpetrated by those close to your relative, even other family members.  Let’s take a closer look at how you can help your senior loved one with finances and help them refrain from becoming a victim of financial exploitation.

Help with Bills

Maybe your loved one is a math whiz and needs no help with their monthly bills.  That is not always the case, however.  Perhaps your relative was recently widowed, and the deceased spouse always paid the bills.  This is a very typical scenario in which your loved one may need assistance doing something they have never done.  In this case, setting up their bills on auto-pay is an excellent idea.  Their bills will be automatically deducted from their bank account.  They don’t have to worry about doing it themselves. 

Another circumstance in which your elderly loved one may need help with bills is if they are having memory issues.  They may live in a lovely memory care facility, but paying their bills is not a service that is offered.  Simple math can become a challenge, depending on the part of the brain affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Additionally, operating smartphones or computers will likely become too challenging at some point.  These loved ones may need help with their checkbooks and budgets.  And, while you may do everything online, they may prefer to see it written out in a checkbook register.  So, dust off your calculator and pen!

Help with Mail

With the massive amounts of junk mail we all receive, it is no wonder that your loved one may need help sorting through mail.  Wouldn’t we all like someone else to do that for us?  They may need help deciphering junk mail, bills, and legitimate mail like bank statements.  A local resident shared this story with us:

“When my grandma had Alzheimer’s, we found out that she was sending payments to charities because when she received their requests in the mail, she thought they were bills!  She thought she had to pay them.”

That is not financial exploitation as well-known, legitimate charities, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (St. Jude’s) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) send out mass mailings requesting donations.  However, it is a prime example of why those with memory issues may need help going through their mail.  Even those without memory issues who are getting older may need or simply appreciate the help.

Help with Banking and Investments

If your loved one has investments, they may already have a reliable financial planner.  If they have memory issues, they should no longer be handling their investments.  Again, if a deceased spouse handled the investments, your loved one may need help.  It is not always wise to allow a family member to handle investments.  Too often, elderly people are taken advantage of in this way.  It is also unwise to allow a family member access to your loved one’s banking.  If Cousin Sally is trying to get your mom to add her to her bank account, it is time to step in!  The best advice, in order to avoid family feuds, is to hire a professional financial planner.  This is not your neighbor who enjoys day trading!  This is someone with a degree and a license and preferably works for a well-known firm.  Protect your loved one’s assets so they have the money they need to live out their senior years without being taken advantage of!


Even if your loved one lives in an amazing senior living community, they still have finances that need to be attended to as that is not one of the services offered.  As their loved one, you can step up to help them take control of their finances so their finances don’t control them!  By helping with bills by setting up autopay, helping sort their mail so they don’t make mistakes or get taken advantage of, and helping with banking and investing by finding them a reliable, legitimate, honest financial planner you are showing your loved one that you care about their well-being.

If your loved one lives in the Melbourne, FL, area and you are looking for a senior living community or memory care facility, then look no further than Victoria Landing.  We are located on the Indian River with lovely water views.  We offer beautiful rooms, 3 gourmet meals a day, and countless activities.  You can help your loved ones with their finances and lavish love on them.  Let us take care of the rest, so you can spend your time simply being together.

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