Anyone who has ever been in debt will tell you exactly how stressful and demeaning the situation can be. If you happen to get into debt then it may just consume your entire being if you struggle to make repayments. Debt can badly affect your lifestyle, perspective on life and may in fact cause deterioration in the relationships you have with those you hold dear to you. Imagine hat scenario and put yourself in the place of someone who is in debt. Now put yourself in the shoes of an elderly person who has the same concerns, worries and stresses. Their problem may in fact be ten times worse because of their personal situation. If you do begin to care for an elderly relative who is in that situation then it will also become your problem, regardless of whose name the debt is in. However, you do have options and debts can be sorted out quite quickly when you know how.
Debt can be severely detrimental to the mental health of an elderly individual and thus should be made a priority as soon as you realise that they are in fact in debt. This may have built up over a period of time unbeknownst to you. Elderly people are notoriously private and will very rarely confide their problems to anyone else, especially if they are a source of embarrassment. As a result, the damage may be extensive and far worse than it may have been had your elderly relative asked for help when their debt problem began to escalate.
The first thing you should do hen dealing with elderly debt is sort out their existing finances. You should assess their income and outgoings. The latter should incorporate household and credit bills that have been paid in the last twelve months as well as any other amounts that have been used to buy groceries and similar items. Basically, you are trying to assess how much it costs for your elderly relative to be able to afford to live and how much expendable wealth they have after everything else has been paid. It may be an idea to work out the outgoings based on the last year or so.
You should also endeavour to find out what assets your elderly relative has. If he or she has savings, how much is in those accounts? Are there other investments? If so, how can they be accessed? Some elderly people may object to revealing this information and like to think that they have enough saved for a rainy day. However, if they are in debt then their rainy day has arrived. If there is enough money available to the senior in debt, then it should be used to pay off debts with immediate effect so that they can start afresh with no financial stress and debts hanging over their heads.
If the elderly person in you care has no savings to speak of, then you should attempt to come to some arrangement with the companies that he or she are indebted to. Some companies offer payment plans so they can recoup the money that they have lent out. They may stop interest being added to the account and agree to affordable monthly payments to bring the debt under control. Every company has a different policy so it may be an idea to check out the options before committing to anything for your relative.
Debt can damage the mental health of the elderly relative that you are looking after to the point that you no longer recognise the individual. The worry can be immense and only by communicating with people who can help can you remove that stress. Being in debt is nothing to be ashamed of, but you should always attempt to remove debts for the equation as quickly as possible for your elderly relative.