7 Signs Your Parents May Need Help With Money Tasks

Look for these red flags when you spend time with mom and dad over the holidays.

The holidays can be a good time to assess whether aging parents are having memory issues and need help managing their finances -- as well as other tasks. You might not notice many of the early signs of dementia if your only contact with your parents is by phone. But if you spend several days with them over Thanksgiving or Christmas, you should get a better picture of how they're coping.

For example, I live in the same city as my mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease two years ago. Because I see her regularly, I know the extent of her decline and what she no longer is capable of doing. My sister, however, lives several states away from us. Although she talks regularly on the phone to our mom, she didn’t realize how much our mother's mental health had deteriorated until she spent three days with her.

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Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for Kiplinger.com. She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.