No one likes to think about bills. While they are a fact of life, there are ways to make them less painful – or at least ways that allow you to think about that pain as little as possible. With technology these days, most bills can be set up to be automatically withdrawn from a bank account with simply an email or text reminder. No mail, no check writing, and (theoretically) no worries. But if technology is a challenge, or you have just reached a point in life when keeping track of paperwork, due dates, and checks is difficult, bills could become a major source of anxiety. And the anxiety won’t just affect the elderly who need help paying bills. It affects their children and caregivers as well. Luckily, there are programs to help the elderly pay bills.
As our family members and loved ones age, they may begin to struggle cognitively. The ability to keep finances in order is one of the first skills lost when an elderly person begins to struggle mentally. There are many other reasons a senior may struggle to pay their bills. Perhaps the senior suffered a stroke and can no longer write easily. Maybe a widow always left finances to her husband, and cannot figure things out on her own. Whatever the reason, there are several options for senior bill paying assistance.
Bill Paying Services for Seniors
Daily money management companies exist to offer help for seniors to pay bills. They are not financial planners, they are assistants who can help pay bills, balance checkbooks, and negotiate with creditors. One popular money management company is Silver Bills. Once you sign the agreement with Silver Bills, you send them a copy of each of your bills. After that, all your bills go directly to Silver Bills. They review the bills for accuracy then authorize payments from your bank account. They are one of the pricier money management companies at $75 to $100 per month. Other companies can be found here.
Other Tips to Help Seniors Pay Bills
Be sure to keep an eye on your parent’s and elderly loved one’s bills. Asking for help with money or finances is not easy for anyone, particularly someone who has been independent and not needed help for their entire life to this point. Discuss setting up power of attorney so you will be able to make financial decisions for your parents. This can be set up in a limited capacity, or arranged so power of attorney will not be granted until a doctor determines your parents can no longer make their own financial decisions. You may also wish to consider identity protection with a company like EverSafe. Designed specifically for seniors, EverSafe monitors bank accounts for suspicious activity, and alerts family members if a problem arises.
As always, you cannot take care of anyone else if you are not taking care of yourself first. So don’t feel like you need to personally take over your parent or loved one’s finances. Use the options listed above to help your elderly loved one with just transferring the burden to you. And be sure to let your parents and loved ones stay involved as long as possible. There are plenty of bill paying services for the elderly that can help their lives and yours stay stress and anxiety free.