Interview Study: Close Others & Banking


‘Close others’ are family members, friends, neighbours, etc. who help older adults with a variety of daily tasks. This research project investigates how close others help older adults with banking in Canada. We are now seeking participants to interview. Note that we will be interviewing the ‘close others’ or ‘caregivers’ – the people who are providing the help to older adults.

Recruitment Script

Investigators: Dr. Celine Latulipe ( and Murray Cumbers (

You are invited to participate in an interview about how you help an older adult complete their banking and finance tasks. The interview will last between 30-60 minutes and will be conducted via Skype or Zoom or another video conferencing platform of your choosing. We will ask what types of banking and finance tasks you help the older adults with. We will ask you how you help the older adult (with in person banking, online banking, using the ATM, etc.) Risks to participating in this study are no greater than in everyday life. The benefit to participation is that you get to contribute to knowledge on how banking technology can support caregivers like you who support older adults with their banking tasks.

Participation in this study is voluntary. We are looking for individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 18+ years of age and living in Canada
  • You must speak and read English
  • You provide care or support to an older adult (65+ years of age) as an associate (for example: parent, relative, neighbour, client or friend)
  • You must be willing to be audio recorded as part of the interview

If you are interested and meet the above criteria, please complete the Consent Form (below) and email or mail the form to the investigator specified in the form.

Upon receipt of the signed Consent Form we will contact you to arrange an interview time and date. During the interview you may withdraw at any time. A Tim Horton’s or Shoppers Drug Mart electronic gift card will be provided whether you complete the interview or not. Once the interview has been completed, subsequent withdrawal will not be permitted.

This research has been approved by the University of Manitoba Joint Faculty Research Ethics Board. If you have any concerns or complaints about this project you may contact any of the above-named persons or the Human Ethics Coordinator at 204-474-7122 or

To ask questions about this study, please email Dr. Celine Latulipe:

Consent Form

You can download a copy of the Consent Form and email it or mail it to us. Click the link below:

This study is now closed.

Final Report

Research in the “Close Others” portion of our older adults & banking project is ongoing, but this particular interview study with close others is now closed. The study was undertaken to gather data on the digital divide experienced by older adults. Another goal was to pinpoint how older adults are coping with both diminished capacity and their personal finances. It was important to identify who is providing that support and how that support is given.

Statistics – Total of 13 participants interviewed

  • 10 participants were aged 61-70, 2 were 51-60 and 1 was under 60.
  • Relationship to older adult included 9 Mothers, 2 Fathers and 2 in other grouping
  • Older adults were mainly 91+ (8 in this category), 2 were 81-90, 1 was 71-80 and 2 were 61-70

Our interviews revealed that close others’ responsibilities change over time. The reasons for close others to provide assistance varied with each relationship and included: cognitive impairment, technology, geographic distance between older adult and family, mobility, cultural, hearing and visual impairments. Some older adults required assistance with banking after the death of their spouse. It was common for the close other to begin with setting up automatic payments and on-line banking for the older adult. Eventually many close others found it simply easier to complete tasks themselves rather than involving the older adult. More than half the close others reported that they set up online bill payments, monitor accounts and transfer funds online. Roughly half of the close others indicated knowledge of passwords without a Power of Attorney being in place. There were also numerous instances of joint accounts being created or the addition of the close other’s name being added to the older adult’s account.

While some of the older adults being assisted reportedly struggled with the technology (according to the close others who help them), this was definitely not the case for all of the older adults. We heard numerous reports of older adults who managed finances using online banking quite well, with only setup assistance or occasional assistance needed. Many older adults utilized technology within their careers or took an interest far later.

Security and privacy concerns were common for both the close others and the older adults. Cooperation from banks in working with close others fluctuated widely. It was however consistent when dealing with loss of funds through fraudulent means. Those cases were satisfactorily resolved.