5 Ways Adult Children Can Help Support Their Elderly Parents

Green Settlements Staff

Table of Contents:

  1. Get a Joint Bank Account
  2. Cancel Unused Accounts and Services
  3. Subscribe to a Grocery Delivery Service
  4. Consider Assisted Living Facilities
  5. Stay Present and Positive

In childhood, you depended on your parents not only for emotional support, but for sound reasoning and fiscal stability. As your parents near retirement age and walk away from the rat race, they will need you to return the favor, lending a helping hand in medical and financial matters that may be beyond their purview in an ever-demanding and evolving world.

By providing them with budgetary assistance and reassurance, you not only ease their transition into vacation mode, but avoid struggling with substantial balances and debt collectors after their passing.

The following 5 options are a great way to help your folks plan for their future, so that they can enjoy the golden years and you can take the first step in preparing for your own retirement.

Get a Joint Bank Account

Per Bloomberg News, $37 billion a year is stolen from American seniors. By becoming a co-owner of your parents’ bank accounts, you can keep an eye out for identity theft, while assuring that bills are paid on time and in the correct amounts. In an ever-changing financial environment, your parents may struggle to adjust to things like direct deposit and web banking. Since you’re monitoring the account, you can handle the heavy lifting, setting up automatic payments for the necessities and creating a budget for food and leisure. Alleviating concerns about utility payments and pocket cash will allow your parents to forget the burdens that haunted their work days and assure you that they’re in good hands.

Cancel Unused Accounts and Services

According to CNET, 2 million people still pay for AOL dial-up, and many of these hangers-on could be senior citizens. Unraveling a lifetime’s worth of dated subscriptions and recurring payments could be exasperating, but there’s a service that helps you weed out predatory auto-renewals and clerical errors. Trim is a company that assesses your financial health by reviewing personal account information and providing you with a list of monthly debits and charges. Once they’ve supplied you with an inventory of your parent’s spending, you can scrutinize each outgoing payment with them and determine which subscriptions are dispensable.

An overview of their active accounts can also help determine if your parents are overpaying for life insurance premiums. If you’re a beneficiary, you can decide (with a parental blessing) whether or not the death benefits are actually needed or if selling the policy on the secondary market would help pay off debt or inject much-needed cash into a savings account. After speaking with a financial advisor, seek out a quote on your parents’ policy and avoid lapsing or surrendering most of the policy’s value back to the insurance company.

Subscribe to a Grocery Delivery Service

If health concerns keep your parents from making frequent trips outdoors and a busy schedule stands in the way of you shopping on their behalf, on-demand delivery may be a sensible solution. A variety of services offer inexpensive transport of produce and sundry items from local grocers, many offering same-day delivery and coupons on popular items. You can also keep track of your parents’ spending by assisting with their online shopping cart, which may be a necessity based on their proficiency with internet forms.

Consider Assisted Living Facilities

Deciding to put a parent in a retirement home can be a difficult decision to make, but adult children with hectic schedules and families of their own need to seriously consider this option. Assisted living doesn’t only offer access to medical professionals and attentive staff, but the opportunity to socialize with like-minded individuals and structured activities that help residents avoid loneliness and detachment. State-of-the-art facilities also consider cleanliness paramount to your parents’ care and offer reasonable payment plans that coincide with Medicare benefits and traditional insurance coverage. Most importantly, they provide you with the peace of mind that your loved ones are safe and thriving without sacrificing their independence.

Stay Present and Positive

Beyond financial assistance and medical care, your parents need to know that you’re in their corner and by their side. Being present can be as simple as stopping in for coffee, planning a family gathering, or inviting them out for a bite to eat. Taking over as family accountant doesn’t excuse you from being considerate and, as your parents transition from the working world to a more sedentary lifestyle, they need to be reminded of their value and your support now more than ever.

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