Signs Your Aging Parents Need Help With Their Finances

Older adults may hesitate to admit that they need assistance with daily tasks, especially when it comes to managing finances or paying the bills. Remaining aware of tell-tale signs such as cognitive decline, a change in medical condition, mental wellness, or physical abilities is important as our loved ones age.

Signs which indicate that your aging parents might need help with their finances include:

  • Difficulty managing activities of daily living (ADLs) – Difficulties with everyday tasks such as housekeeping, meal preparation, medication management, and bathing/hygiene.       
  • Bills and mail unopened and piling up – Mail piled up more than usual is a tell-tale sign that the task is becoming too overwhelming
  • Sudden and extreme purchases – The appearance of new expensive items in the home or frequent purchases outside of normal spending patterns can be an indicator of impaired judgment, memory loss, or that your parents are being taken advantage of.
  • A victim to financial scams or exploitation – Keep an eye out for sweep-stake mailings, paperwork related to gift-giving or donations, or anyone unfamiliar claiming to manage your parent’s finances.

If you notice one or more of these signs, it is time to take a sensitive approach and suggest ways that you can assist. The process and approach may vary depending on different needs and personality types.

How to get started:

  • Take it slow and increase the level of support when needed.
  • Get organized! Locate important documents and make a list of financial accounts, monthly/annual bills, investments, insurance policies, debt, and income.
  • Hire a qualified professional to manage monthly bills, taxes, etc.
  • Encourage an appointment with their financial planner, accountant and/or attorney to update financial plans and legal documentation.

If you identify warning signs signs and start the conversation early, you’ll know what to do if and when issues arise. There are several resources that are available to you and your aging parents. Contact your local Council on Aging or your local ASAP (Aging Service Access Point) for a list of resources in your area.

Feel like you need additional guidance or individualized support?

Our team of Certified Senior Advisors® and Certified Dementia Practitioners® has helped hundreds of older adults and their families. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call 617-227-1600 or email

Dovetail Companies provides one point of contact for all services seniors may need when transitioning from their longtime home, minimizing stress and providing peace of mind to focus on the transition rather than the logistics. Dovetail Companies is the parent company to three subsidiary companies; Dovetail Support Services, Dovetail Financial and Dovetail Real Estate Group. For more information visit or call 617-227-1600.