Have you ever thought you could prevent an emergency if you had just…? We’ve all been there. But taking time during our busy days to plan ahead isn’t usually a priority. When you have an aging parent, being proactive can help your loved one to age with greater dignity. Here are four suggestions to prepare for the caregiving journey and make transitions as smooth as possible.
1. Hold a Family Meeting
Invite everyone who plans to be involved in caring for your loved ones to attend a family meeting. If they can’t attend in person, organize a conference call or online meeting to make sure everyone participates. Ask your loved one what their wishes are as they age. Where would they like to live? What is most important to them? Who would they like to make medical and legal decisions on their behalf? Appoint someone to take notes at this meeting and share them with everyone at the end.
2. Appoint a Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney
It is important to have someone appointed to make healthcare and legal decisions for an elder in case they are unable to do so. Is one family member better-suited for a particular role than another? If no family members are available, consider a close family friend who can be trusted to make these decisions. An elder law attorney can assist you in drafting these documents.
3. Learn about Options for Care
Do you know what types of living arrangements are available to elders and what might best suit your family member? There are a range of care options from living at home with support all the way to skilled, 24-hour nursing care.
4. Determine and Prepare for the Cost of Care
Once your family member decides what options are acceptable to them, it’s best to understand what is financially reasonable. Given your family member’s assets, existing health care and insurance policies, will the type of care s/he prefers be possible? Find out if your loved one has long-term care insurance. If so, familiarize yourself with what type of care is covered under the policy guidelines and what conditions need to be met to become benefit eligible.
You don’t have to figure this out on your own. Care.com’s Adult and Senior Care Advisors are experienced, masters-level social workers. Call us today at (855) 781-1303 and we are happy to help you prepare for, and make it through, the caregiving journey.