Relationship to Money- Values concerning spending, saving, and inheritance often impact the family caregiver. This must be picked up in a psychosocial assessment using the whole family approach.
The circumstances for those who lived through the great depression have made many adults fearful of spending and taking any financial risks. Raised in a relatively secure environment, this can be very difficult for the adult children to understand. Talking to “The Greatest Generation” parents about money is difficult, especially if the money you are talking about is theirs. They belong to a generation that was taught to keep their information private, and not to share their concerns openly. Even if they need help, they may not be willing to talk to you, because it’s ‘none of your business,’ or because they are afraid to give up control over their financial affairs.
It is incumbent upon adult children to bring up this difficult topic of money before a crisis hits. This can assure that the emotional aspects of spending; the differing relationships to money, and the objective realities are resolved. All too common, when financial issues are ignored, situation of inappropriate spending, withholding of services or fiduciary misconduct arise.
There are other situations in which family members may question expenditures for the senior, out of concern that future inheritance may be depleted. This is another problem with relationship to money. If the aging professional or geriatric care manager finds adult children withholding needing services even if the money is there to pay for them that is a red flag.
All this can be gathered by using the whole family approach and talking to each adult child in the family plus the elderly client, spouse, physician and elder law attorney if in the case.