Financial security covers many facets, including how and when to use a power of attorney, what to plan for when sharing a joint account, understanding the various methods of payment now available, etc. It may be difficult to navigate through everything! Fortunately, tools and resources exist to help you and your loved one find your way.
Is my loved one receiving the income to which they are entitled?
A visit to the Government of Canada's Benefits Finder website will enable you to obtain a customized list of benefits that the person you care for could be receiving.
Is my loved one experiencing financial difficulty?
Is your loved one asking you questions about bankruptcy? Do you have concerns about the excessive use of credit? Are you aware of repeated calls from collection agencies? If so, it could be very useful to suggest that your loved one communicate with the Association coopérative d’économie familiale (ACEF) organization in their region. The ACEFs are not-for-profit community organizations who fields of intervention include budgetary, debt and consumer issues.
Could my loved one be the victim of financial abuse?
The person you look after tells you that they can no longer meet their financial obligations and you think they might be the victim of financial abuse. Pay attention if you notice the following:
- They no longer appear to have control over their personal finances;
- They are no longer covering their basic needs, such as buying enough food to eat properly;
- They are receiving calls from a collection agency or appear to be experiencing a situation of excessive debt.
Be extra vigilant if the person you look after is
- older than 75 years
- anxious or depressed
- in a vulnerable situation or dependent on another person
Is my loved one still capable of managing their finances?
Have you noticed a deterioration of the mental or physical faculties of the person you are looking after? Have you wondered whether this person is still able to express their will and to make informed decisions? Are you increasingly worried about their potential incapacity? What you need to know is that a person is declared incapacitated when they are unable to care for themselves or administer their property. Assessing the incapacity of a person with whom we are close is not always clear cut. To help you, you will need the assistance of professionals (physician, social worker) capable of conducting a medical and psychosocial evaluation. The results will help you to know whether it is time to consider opening a protection plan or the homologation of a mandate of protection (formerly called a mandate in case of incapacity).
Tools and resources
- Vos finances en toute sécurité - Guide à l'intention des aînés, developed by Option consommateurs, explains what a power of attorney is, how to use a joint account wisely, how to protect your personal information, explain the benefits and risks of the various payment methods, remote shopping, online and telephone banking transactions, etc.
- Guide Pas de retraite pour vos finances developed by Option consommateurs. In this guide you will find information on the main sources of income that can be received in retirement as well as information on credit. You will also find tips for saving.
- Guide des mesures fiscales provinciales et fédérales à l’intention des personnes handicapées, de leur famille et de leurs proches
- Curateur public. For general information on protection measures: 1-800-363-9020
- Chambre des notaires. Find a notary. Information on powers of attorney. Free telephone service: 1-800-NOTAIRE(668 -2473)
- Elder Mistreatment Helpline 1-888-489-2287 - seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Elder Abuse. Identifying, preventing, and responding (by the Crime Victims Assistance Centre)
- Information on preventing elder financial abuse (by the Autorité des marchés financiers)