We were recently interviewed on a radio show about the topic of aging parents. The host, like many adult children we hear from, wanted to educate himself (and his audience) on considerations in thinking ahead to a time when his parents may need assistance.
So, how to get started? Is there a simple checklist of what to do or consider as the adult son or daughter? Here are our top three “to dos” of eldercare preparation:
- Initiate conversations. In the best case scenario, you can have these conversations over time in a relaxed natural way. This enables you to bring up topics around windows of opportunity and give your parents the chance to express their feelings and desires at their own pace.
- Explore the financial side of things. A lot of people think about retirement planning, but don’t always consider the costs of care. One of the most common misconceptions we hear is the assumption that Medicare will cover aging care. Medicare DOES NOT cover long term care and the most common day-to-day care needs that come with age and infirmity. Having a better understanding of the financial picture and potential gaps provides planning opportunities or allows you to begin exploring additional resources that might be needed.
- Get the legalities situated. There are essential legal documents related to healthcare and decision-making. Every adult should have these in the event that an accident or illness requires someone else to step in to make decisions on behalf of the patient. Key documents to discuss with your attorney (and ensure are up-to-date): Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney/Proxy. Estate planning documents are also important in preparing for later years and helping loved ones more easily settle your estate.
We created our Eldercare Consultations for families to get affordable, quality professional advice on topics related to their aging parents, disabled spouses or their own healthcare situations. Contact us to about a Care Consultation or call us at 888-807-2551.