As our parents age, they often require help with finances and regular check-ins to ensure their homes are running comfortably. It’s important that vital documents are easily located and their homes are safe. Here are some ways in which you may be able to assist them:
BILLS – Do you notice unpaid bills lying around your parents’ home, or Second Notice letters? To avoid late penalties and frustration, assistance with bill paying may be in order. Can you set aside some time to set up automatic payments? If that’s not an option, consider asking a personal assistant to become involved.
VITAL DOCUMENTS – If your parents have accumulated files over many years, some decluttering may be required to ensure their essential documents can be located easily. They may include birth certificates, passports, wills and powers of attorney, bond certificates, financial statements, and life insurance policies.
TECH TUTORIALS – Your elderly parent may benefit from some tips on how to pay bills online, send emails, or share photos electronically with family members. If you lack the time or live in another city, you may want to consider asking a personal assistant to help.
CONTACTS – You and close family members should have the contact information for your parents’ attorney, doctors, accountant, and financial advisor if they have one. Also, consider getting friends’ and neighbors’ contact information.
PASSWORDS – If your parents have online accounts, help them set up a secure system for recording all passwords. This should be shared with you.
SAFE DEPOSIT BOX AND HOME SAFES – Have your parents authorized someone to have access to their safe deposit box? Do you know the combination of their home safe?
EMERGENCY PLAN – Do you have an elderly parent living alone? Even if your mom or dad is in top physical health, it’s wise to plan for unexpected emergencies or severe weather. There is a vast array of medical alert products on the market. Buddy systems with neighbors can be a comfort. Do they have a close friend who could be asked to check on them when you are unable to do so?
SAFETY MEASURES – You will have peace of mind knowing your parents’ home has functioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, that rugs are tacked down to prevent falls, that grab bars are installed in the bathroom if necessary, and that a stair lift is purchased if mobility has become a problem.
HEALTH – Are you sure your parent is taking all medications regularly? If you think it may be time for some caregiving help, you may want to research reputable companies. A personal assistant can help if you don’t know where to start.
HOME MAINTENANCE – Even if your parents have downsized, there is home maintenance to be done. There are light bulbs to change, appliances that need fixing, leaky faucets to repair, etc.
There is nothing more important than the health, safety, and happiness of your loved ones. If your elderly parents are becoming less independent, it may be time to make some changes. Sometimes it’s simply not possible for you to step in. You may lack the time because of job and family demands. You may live far away. You may not be comfortable taking on a parental role to your own parents. Call Potomac Concierge! Our personal assistants love to help make people’s lives easier, and many of our associates specialize in helping the elderly.