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Tis the season when people everywhere will be visiting their aging parents or elderly loved one for the holidays.

Before the visit, everything may seem fine and wonderful on the surface because, “they’ve never asked for any help.” It’s rare that seniors will ask for help so it’s up to you to look for signs that they may need help with managing their daily life and money matters like mail, bills, and phone calls.

I was recently speaking to a vendor who told me that none of his seven siblings knew their mother was having a hard time with keeping up with her mail and bills until a visit during the holidays. When they all spoke to their mother on the phone, every thing was fine and she never indicated there was a problem. Yet, when they came to visit, they noticed that her personal papers were a mess, she had unopened mail everywhere, and she was behind on many bills despite the fact that she had the money to pay for them.

The ability to keep up with daily life and money matters such as opening and sorting mail and paying bills on time is usually the first skill to “fall by the wayside” and is a sure sign that something is wrong and your loved one needs help.

So today, I’m going to give you three quick signs to look out for when visiting your parent(s) or elderly loved one that will let you know they may need the help of a Daily Money Manager—especially if you can’t help or don’t live in the area.

1. Disorganization

Was mom usually a very organized person who had everything in its proper place? Do you notice mom isn’t as organized as she used to be? Do you see that dad has piles of disorganized papers all over the place? How are they going to find important papers when they’re needed?

2. Unopened Mail

Can you see stacks of unopened mail on the dining room table or an office desk? Or maybe you notice unopened mail scattered all around the house. Many times, seniors still get paper checks in the mail that go undeposited leading to our next sign…

3. Unpaid Bills

If you start going through some of that mail and notice late notices, late fee charges, utility shut-off warnings, and bounced checks, this is a huge warning that something is wrong and your loved one needs help. When paper checks don’t make it into the bank account, it can cause a cascading effect that can cost the senior hundreds (even thousands) of dollars.

While you’re visiting, you can help them get back on track, but you may be thinking, “How can I help when I leave? What can I do once I’m gone?!”

When you have to go back home—to another state, that’s where a company like Senior Partners can step in and help—if your senior loved one is in the Atlanta area. We help seniors fix their cluttered “inboxes” and straighten out their daily life and money matters. You can schedule a free consultation here.

If your loved one doesn’t live in the Atlanta area, you can look up a Daily Money Manager by going to the American Association of Daily Money Managers and using the DMM’s & You tab to find someone in their area.

If you haven’t seen your senior loved one in awhile, it’s okay to be a little “nosey.” Look for these three signs; ask questions—in a loving and gentle way—to make sure your senior loved one can still handle these tasks on their own. If they can’t, you now have the resources to find help for them.

From the staff at Senior Partners, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Your Senior Partners