The most vulnerable in our society in terms of finances and the management thereof has to be our senior citizens. They are the endless targets of scammers and con-men who prey on their weaknesses and vulnerabilities by enticing them to part with their hard earned retirement savings with endless variety of intricate scams and cons.
While this is a reprehensible action that needs to be addressed through stiffer sentences and better prevention laws there are other ways that seniors also need assistance with their finances that impact an even broader amount of the senior population. For many the ability to manage the paying of bills and managing funds is of greater and more pressing concern and one that is seldom broached for fear of offending the ones we love and respect the most.
Many times it is not until the utility is suspended or that money is missing from the account that we even realize that there may be issues that Mom and Dad can no longer face on their own. The need to assess the situation before any of these situations occur is paramount and you can get the information you need to make a decision as to whether an intervention is or is not required. Simply having a look around the elders residence you can get a sense of the situation by seeing if there is any unopened mail or utility bills that seem to be ignored.
You can also try to get some information from close friends and other relatives with regard to how they see the situation and if they see any troubling signs that you may have missed such as forgetfulness or confusion. If you can get permission to have a look at the check-books and financial statements you have a great way of determining if there are any serious issues such as large portion of unaccountable funds going out or missed payments and the like.
If you do receive that permission you then have the opportunity to open a dialogue with the senior and determine if they have any concerns with regard to their finances. Do they still feel comfortable managing their own finances or do they feel overwhelmed and uncertain? By opening this dialogue you are able to gauge exactly where the possible uncertainties are coming from and any underlying issues that there may be. Is it forgetfulness they fear or something else? Are they able to manage the handling of the bills and such and are just having trouble making the funds stretch to cover what is necessary?
By broaching this difficult topic it allows you to get the cards on the table so to speak and figure out exactly what if any troubles the senior in your life may be having. By at least having the conversation you will be ready if any concerns do arise and will feel confident in your ability to have an open dialogue. Neglect in any form is unacceptable so be sure to keep the lines of communication open and be ready when you are needed.