It’s not easy talking to your older loved one about their personal finances, and even more difficult to help them realize that it may be time to turn the reins over to you or another caregiver. Avoiding the conversation, though, can lead to unnecessary stress and unwarranted headaches later on, and can leave your loved one open to financial exploitation. So how do you start the conversation? And what should you say? Here are a few tips:
Every day, I see many elders in my practice. Some of them are experiencing the usual mental difficulties of old age, like forgetfulness or poor attention span. Yet others somehow manage to remain mentally sharp, even well into their 80s. I call these people “superagers”; those whose memory and attention is well above average for their age, on par with healthy, active 20 and 30-year-olds.
So, why do some elders remain mentally agile while others descend into dementia? There are several reasons:
No one likes to be told their best efforts aren’t good enough. But that’s what often happens to caregivers. Family members and friends feel free to give unsolicited advice for improving the ways the caregiver is providing care. Even if those suggestions might be helpful, being told to change their caregiving can make caregivers feel criticized and hurt.