How to Recognize Financial Trouble in a Senior Loved One

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A woman and her older father review his monthly budget because she wants to be sure to recognize financial trouble in a senior loved one.

These tips can help family caregivers recognize financial trouble in a senior loved one.

Taking care of a senior loved one can be a challenging task. As they age, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that they can manage their finances responsibly. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle with managing money. Understanding the signs that a senior loved one can no longer handle their finances is key to ensuring their financial security and well-being. Here are several signs of financial trouble in a senior loved one, as well as some tips on how to help.

Difficulties With Simple Math

One of the first signs that an older adult may no longer be able to handle their finances is difficulty with simple math. If you notice that a loved one is struggling with basic calculations, such as counting change or adding up bills, it may be time to consider other options for managing their finances. If you suspect cognitive issues, a visit to the doctor may also be in order.

Large Cash Withdrawals

Another sign that someone may not be able to manage their own finances is large cash withdrawals from ATMs. While there are some legitimate reasons for withdrawing larger amounts of cash, if you notice frequent and large withdrawals without explanation, this could be an indication of financial mismanagement or fraud. Talk to the person about their spending to get an idea of the big picture.

Unpaid Bills or Frequent Overdrafts

Unpaid bills or frequent overdrafts are red flags when it comes to managing finances in older adults. If you notice that bills aren’t being paid on time or if there are frequent overdrafts on accounts, it could mean that the person is having trouble keeping track of payments due or simply doesn’t have enough money coming in each month to cover expenses. You might try looking for an app that can help them keep track of due dates.

Fix It – Don’t Replace It

Helping a senior loved one maintain their home can be a cost-effective and rewarding endeavor. One example is fixing gadgets around the house instead of replacing them. If their Ring Doorbell is broken and flashing blue, it could be due to a variety of reasons such as booting up, recharging, or a poor Wi-Fi connection. Instead of buying a new one, you can find numerous resources online that provide step-by-step guides on how to troubleshoot and fix these issues. This approach not only saves money but also promotes resourcefulness and reduces waste, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle

Time to Consider New Living Arrangements

Downsizing can be a financially savvy move for an older adult. Selling their home can free up substantial capital that could be invested or used for daily expenses, reducing financial stress. Additionally, the maintenance and utility costs can be lower, offering further savings. Moreover, thanks to online listings, finding a smaller residence has never been easier. These platforms provide detailed information about various properties, helping seniors find an place that fits their needs. This transition can offer both economic and convenience benefits.

Help Them Get Organized and Keep Detailed Records

It’s important to document detailed records on all transactions and accounts belonging to the senior so you can keep track of any suspicious activity or potential fraud attempts by unscrupulous individuals who may try to take advantage of them financially. Keeping detailed records will ensure that their accounts remain secure. Help the person get their records organized by using digital tools that can make paperwork easy to access.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging, but understanding the signs that they might not be able to handle their finances anymore is crucial in protecting them. Knowing what to look for is half the battle, so keep these signs in mind. When you feel a loved one is ready to sell their home, get professional help with a valuation and use a calculator to figure out the total figure you can expect. This will make both processes much easier.

San Diego Home Caregivers can help an older loved one maintain independence in the familiarity of home with professional in-home care services. Connect with us online or give us a call at (619) 487-9000 for more information.

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Senior Citizen Safety: Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

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While abusing an older adult is something that would never enter into the minds of most people, it is a tragically widespread occurrence in the U.S. Elder abuse appears in many ways, from emotional to physical, and it strikes the most frail and vulnerable among us.

Considering that elder abuse is in many instances a voiceless problem, it’s essential for families and friends of seniors to be aware of the red flags of elder abuse to be able to protect the senior citizens in their lives. Our home care specialists have pulled together several of the warning signs that may indicate elder abuse.

Physical Abuse:

  • Indications of injury such as welts, bruises, or scars, especially if they display symmetrically on both sides of the body
  • Broken bones or sprains
  • Regularly missed medications or drug overdoses
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Signs of being restrained, including red marks or bruises on the wrists
  • Caregivers who refuse to let anyone visit with the senior alone

Emotional Abuse:

  • Controlling behaviors from the caregiver, including:
    • Yelling at or threatening the senior
    • Humiliating or teasing the senior
    • Neglecting the older person
    • Distancing the senior from friends and relatives
  • Behavior that mimics dementia, including rocking, sucking, or muttering to himself or herself


  • Detrimental reduction in weight or malnourishment
  • Physical concerns, such as bed sores, that have not been treated
  • Unclean living conditions
  • Neglected hygiene
  • Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
  • Dangerous living conditions (no running water or heat; defective electrical wiring, other fire threats)
  • Desertion of the older person at a public place

The first signs of elder abuse may be difficult to recognize and may appear to be signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or increased frailty. Alternatively, a caregiver who is abusing the older person might try to explain signs of abuse away. To help prevent abuse, make sure to visit and call senior loved ones frequently, and look for any changes in the older adult’s personality or behavior. If any indications of elder abuse are witnessed or suspected, they must be reported immediately.

San Diego Home Caregivers, a top provider in-home care provider in La Jolla and nearby areas, can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. We can provide in-home care services, including specialized Alzheimer’s care, to ensure that older individuals are safe and well cared for. Contact us at (619) 487-9000 for a free assessment and to learn more about our top-rated home care and dementia care in La Jolla, CA and the surrounding areas.