Not talking about the horror stories. My parents are in their late 80’s and my brother and I are starting to shift things to help them manage their home and finances. Their finances are good. My parents have credit cards (2 or 3), but are the rare exception and they do not carry a balance. They dutifully pay it off each month. They own their home. They have savings and investments. Thankfully they have not gone the route of buying things on Home Shopping Network, etc.

The problem is they are showing poor judgement in other areas. Tip of the iceberg . . . My mother gets confused easily and has shown a propensity for signing on the dotted line without understanding what she’s signing. And my father was just diagnosed with dementia. He’s currently in a nursing home. Not sure if he’ll be moving back into the house. (Regarding my mom . . . she just told me she signed ‘some papers’ at the nursing home, but has no clue what they said, and didn’t get a copy of them. Don’t worry. I’m on it and will be at the nursing home today.)

Anyway, we are trying to have our names added to their various and sundry accounts, as well as getting the power of attorney (medical and legal). I’m doing my homework. So I feel informed on that score.

Here’s my question. I no longer have credit cards and don’t want any. BUT as we add our names to these accounts, I don’t want to be added to their credit card account. I think it would freak out my parents to suggest they close the account. They fear the debit card. So that whole argument won’t work (use debit or check card and not credit card). There’s no debt there, but I just don’t want my name on a credit card. Should I just add my brother’s (who is not in FPU)?

Can anyone speak to helping elderly parents and how you’ve helped? I’m not asking about the horror stories. Happily that’s not the case here, and we’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.