Starting the Conversation: Your Loved One's Finances

This month's blog is written by Todd Macaulay, Financial Well-Being Officer, Employee Benefits. For more information about free financial counseling for UK employees, visit the Financial Well-Being webpage

Certain topics are uncomfortable to discuss. For many people, money is one of these topics. In my family we did not talk about money outside of the family. Now I provide financial counseling for employees, and if everyone took my parents advice I would be out of a job. 

Time for Spring Cleaning

Spring has officially arrived! We feel more energized by the longer days and warmer temperatures, which means this may be a good time to channel that revitalized energy and consider a spring cleaning with your loved one in their home or apartment. Spring cleaning is more than just cleanliness – it may provide valuable insight into how your loved one is managing as they age. It also provides a chance to:

No Matter How Long the Winter, Spring is Sure to Follow

Many of us experience varying degrees of depression during the winter months due to the lack of sunshine, limited activity and a decrease in social connections. Social isolation is a serious problem with physical, mental and emotional consequences. Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline and lead to depression and deterioration of overall health and well-being.  

Caregiving and the Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner and all the associated craziness they bring, this might be a good time to take a deep breath and get a clear picture of what you'll face as a caregiver in the next few weeks. Caring for an older loved one can be stressful and challenging in the best of times. During the holiday season, stresses and challenges can be even more overwhelming. Keeping things simple can help make life easier for both you and your loved one.

Expect the Unexpected

A truism in caregiving is "expect the unexpected." Being prepared and feeling a readiness for what lies ahead is an important caregiving tenet. As our older loved ones age and lose their physical and mental acuity we need to learn what resources and services are available to help make our caregiving role more manageable.

A Caregiver's World Requires Balance

A caregiver's world requires balance; a balance between work, family and caregiving responsibilities. But here's the thing about caregiving: you are never in balance for very long. Things are constantly changing. To find balance you'll have to adapt as your stresses and challenges change. This is done by reviewing, evaluating and assessing your priorities.

Caregiving and Depression

Caring for an aging loved one may create an overabundance of emotions. The uncertain future, career and financial worries, difficult life decisions and the potential for an unwanted lifestyle change can create fear, hopelessness, anger, resentment, and helplessness. All of this will affect your physical, emotional and mental well-being. It can even challenge your spiritual foundation.