Aging Parents Checklist: 4 Essential Areas When Caring for the Elderly

checklist for managing the finances of aging parentsAre you caring for elderly or aging parents or preparing to take on the task? We have you covered!

We created a complete “Aging Parents Checklist” with everything you’ll need to get organized and make sure you’re not missing anything important.

There are four major areas to consider when caring for the elderly. This checklist will walk you through each one step-by-step:

  1. Financial considerations
  2. Insurance documents and information
  3. Legal documents
  4. Health and living arrangements

The Complete “Aging Parents Checklist”

1. Financial Considerations

Checking Accounts

  • Institution name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Contact person
  • Account number
  • Names on account
  • Names on signature card
  • Where are the account records being kept?

Savings Accounts

  • Institution name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Contact person
  • Account number
  • Names on account
  • Names on signature card
  • Where are the account records being kept?

Safe Deposit Box

  • Institution name
  • Address
  • Where is the key?
  • Who can sign?

Investments

  • Type of investment (CD, IRA, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, annuities and other investments)
  • Institution name
  • Where is the original document
  • Dollar amounts
  • Where are the account statements being kept?

Helpful Tip: If your parents have multiple bank accounts or investment accounts of the same type, look to reduce the total number of accounts or institutions. Not only will this save time and streamline the effort of tracking everything but they’ll also save money on fees.

Monthly Income

  • Do your parents receive a monthly pension check?
  • Do they receive dividends from investments?
  • Do they receive money from social security or disability?
  • Are there any other income sources?
  • What is the dollar amount for each of the above?

Monthly Expenses

  • Mortgage payments
  • Car payments
  • Credit card debt
  • Utility bills
  • Taxes
  • Other living expenses
  • How are these expenses paid? (online banking or paper check? are any automatic deductions set up?)

2. Insurance Documents and Information

Health Insurance

  • Plan type (Medicare, PPO, HMO, pension plan)
  • Insurer
  • Policy number
  • Phone number

If Medicare…

Is there a supplemental insurance plan that covers the 20% deductible not covered by Medicare?

  • Phone number
  • Policy number
  • Insurer

Is there a Medicare Part D policy for prescription drugs?

  • Insurer
  • Policy number
  • Phone number

Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Insurer
  • Beneficiary
  • Amount and duration of payments, according to policy
  • How long is the waiting period?
  • What must occur for the policy to be activated?

Life Insurance

  • Insurer
  • Policy number
  • Phone number
  • Name of insurance agent

Other Insurance

  • Review auto, homeowners, and other liability insurance to make sure each policy is appropriate, adaquate and up-to-date.

3. Legal Documents Checklist

  • Do they have a will? Does it represent their current wishes?
  • Do they have a living will? Does it represent their current wishes?
  • Do they have an estate plan?
  • Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for finances?
  • Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for health care?

4. Health & Living Arrangements Checklist

Health and Medical Care

  • Who are the doctors they are using?
  • Do they have any regularly scheduled appointments or check-ups they must go to?
  • What medications are they taking?

Living Arrangements

  • Is their current home in good condition, safe and livable?
  • Do any modifications or updates need to be made to the home?
  • How will any home repairs or modifications be paid for if needed?

Helpful Tips When Caring for Elderly Parents

That’s it for our “Aging Parents Checklist”. We’re not quite done though… The following section will leave you with a few tips that will save you time and make the process of caring for your aging loved ones a little bit easier.

Don’t Forget There’s a “Middle Ground”

If your aging parent is showing some signs they need help managing their finances or other aspects of their life, but are still capable of handling some of these tasks on their own, you can offer assistance without fully taking over.

If they’re willing to share their financial details, your parents should be able to allow you to receive copies of their statements. This will help you not only manage the day-to-day activities, but also look for signs of scams or financial abuse, such as large one-time transactions or payments to unfamiliar companies.

This is just one example, but keep the concept above in mind when deciding how to best care for your elderly parents.

Always Approach the Topic Sensitively

Whether you decide to offer partial assistance or completely take over the day-to-day management of the areas above, you should approach the topic softly with your elderly parent.

It’s upsetting to hear that you are not keeping up with what you used to be able to manage. Hearing it from your own child can be even more difficult.

Be sensitive. Ask questions and make soft suggestions, rather than bold statements or things that could be interpreted as criticism.

Example…

Say this: Do you think the reason you’ve missed a few credit card payments is that you have too many things to manage right now?”

Not this: You clearly have too many things to manage and are not able to keep up with it. I’m taking this over for you!”

If you are too direct, there’s a greater chance your help will be met with resistance. This adds tension to the relationship and creates a lot more work for you in terms of getting them to say “Yes” to your suggestions.

Consider Hiring a Daily Money Manager

Finally, if you feel like the task of managing all of these areas is a burden and you wish someone could come in and do it for you reliably and accurately, that’s exactly what Daily Money Managers are for, and what we’ve been doing here for the past 10 years.

You can contact us at this page to find out more about how we’re able to help. Be sure to include some brief details about your situation so we can respond with relevant advice and information about how we can assist you.

 

 

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