[caption id="attachment_16328" align="alignleft" width="300"] Seniors sometimes need help in managing money[/caption]
Gordon Matilla---As part of care giving responsibilities, many friends and family members of senior citizens are asked to handle the money of someone needing assisted living. But how do you take charge of someone else's money, do a good job and ensure the funds are protected?
As part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Community Living offers information for caregivers on managing money for elderly loved ones.
Four booklets the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office for Older Americans has released offer guidance for people acting as fiduciaries for others that include walking the care giver through their duties, how to watch for scams and financial exploitation and what to do if the senior loved one becomes a victim and finally information on where to go for help. Presently free print copies and bulk orders are available with hard copies available by the end of November.
There are also a number of websites that provide information on managing money for others. One of the sites, for example, is Mint.com which organizes money by transaction so an individual can track how money is being spent in a number of categories. Other websites offer counsel on everything from balancing one's budget to tracking expenses vs income. Many of the suggestions offered can help not only the person needing specific assistance but also assist the care giver in managing his/her own money as well, which is especially important if that care giver is spending personal money in providing care for the loved one.
Many financial advisers recommend that not just one person be in charge of managing someone else's money in order to provide a check and balance on various tasks. It can also help prevent financial abuse.
The newest Federal guidelines provide a care giver with the major outline of responsibilities and how these should be carried out. Often when an individual needs special care, the person designated to care for the finances requires assistance as well. So having assistance for doing this can be especially important in planning for senior care that may involve details with which some individuals might be unfamiliar. Having help available for these details can count a good deal toward maintaining financial stability for a loved one who needs not just assistance with daily living tasks but caring for financial obligations as well.