Trigger Points for the Elders in Your Life

March 19, 2018  |  

Trigger Points for the Elders in Your Life

Key Takeaways

  • There are 5 key areas of living that you should monitor for the elders in your life. The chart below explains.
  • Triggers can be a helpful foundation for having those tough conversations about independent living.
  • A trigger point and related consequence must be identified by the individual while they are able to make decisions on their own.

As many of you are experiencing first-hand, the issue of eldercare has been top of mind for more and more Americans. It’s especially poignant for those of you in the Sandwich Generation—those caring for school-age kids who are also taking care of their parents.  People are living longer than ever. Seniors want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Healthcare costs keep rising. It’s a perfect storm of financial and demographic pressures hitting just when financial abuse of seniors is on the rise (see my recent posts on that topic).

We have all heard the story about:

  • The grandmother that fell victim to a financial scam,
  • The widow’s house that fell into disrepair,
  • The son that had to take dad’s driver’s license away because he crashed the car.

To help you separate fact from fiction, I reached out to Bode Hennegan, Founder of Chestnut Hill, PA-based Life Managers & Associates for some clarity on this issue. According to Hennegan, these costly mistakes above may have been avoided had the individuals relinquished responsibility for the tasks before they were no longer capable of managing them.  “How does a person know when it is time to relinquish responsibility?” asked Hennegan.  “Trigger points can be a powerful tool.” As the chart below shows, a trigger point is a particular circumstance or situation that causes an event to occur.  For example, the grandfather may agree to take a vision test annually.  When he is no longer able to pass successfully, he relinquishes driving or maybe just driving at night.

As the chart below shows, there are five major types of trigger points signaling that it might be time for you and your siblings to get more involved in your parents’ care.

The trigger point and the consequence of that trigger point are specific to the individual. “The key,” said Hennegan, “is that the trigger point and consequence must be identified by the individual while they are able to make these decisions. This is not a conversation about losing power and control, but rather gaining security and freedom by deciding for oneself when and how things are done,” Hennegan added.

Why should you have these conversations with your parents and their financial advisor? The answer is simple, said Hennegan. “You want to protect their assets.”

Bode and Life Managers & Associates welcomes the opportunity to assist you in engaging in these conversations. 

Bode Hennegan may be reached at 484-433-0055 |

Adviser does not endorse the statements, opinions, services or performance of any third-party vendor without specifically assessing the suitability of a third-party to a client’s or a prospective client’s needs and objectives.

About Mark Rioboli, CFP®, CFS

Mark A. Rioboli, CFP®, CFS is Director of Wealth Management for Independence Advisors, bringing over 30 years of experience in the wealth management industry. Have a question for Mark? CLICK HERE TO ASK MARK
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