HOW DO I BECOME A VERIFIED USER FOR UTILITY BILLS AND PROTECT MY PARENTS?
Joan went home for the holidays and noticed the WIFI was out at her father’s home. Her father John said he couldn’t get it to work and he called the phone company, but they didn’t have a record of his account. Joan asked her dad what company he had his WIFI with and he said AT&T. She asked if she could call for him. Joan called on Monday and was told that she was not authorized on the account and they couldn’t look it up for her. She explained that she is his daughter and that he had called, and no one could find his account. The customer service representative re-explained that she needs to have her dad call to add her to the account. This took up most of Joan’s Monday—between calling her dad, conferencing in the phone company and so on… it turns out that John didn’t use AT&T as his internet provider but used Comcast- the same as his TV—So Joan spent another day getting added onto that account as well…
The owners of Bee Cared4, LLC have gone through a similar scenario personally with their own mother. As Certified Senior Care Managers we offer a full spectrum of care. We will assist you with the many challenges you may face with an aging parent.
The moral of the story is—there is a balance between our parent’s independence and us helping them out in the case of an emergency. Giving your parents the dignity to live at home if possible doesn’t mean they will be able to manage their home and all their finances and utilities. Start the conversations early to be added as an authorized name on each account.
You can be added as an authorized person on all utility bills, so you can make changes as needed. If you wait too long your parent may no longer have enough cognition to understand these accounts and this will become very difficult as these companies have strict security guidelines.
- Pest Control
- House cleaners
- Homeowners Association
Have a conversation about banking and credit card companies and get yourself added here too- you can help track suspicious actions, fraud and strange spending.
Acting early will help your parent live in their home longer and help them remain as independent as possible.
- There are also Geriatric Care Managers that can assist you with this for a fee. Just be careful to do your due diligence to protect your family.
- Check with your elder care attorney to also discuss power of attorney.