8 Strategies for Caring for Your Elderly Parents

Members of more than one quarter of all families in the United States today are involved in some way in the care of their elderly parents. Taking steps to prepare for your parents’ future needs is not only important for your parents. It is important for you. 

  1. Make sure they have signed a Health Care Proxy and a Durable Power of Attorney
  2. Have a family discussion about care long before it is necessary to act. Explore the role the family will play. Will they want to stay at home? Move in with family members? Enter a residential facility? Discuss who will be sharing in the care giving responsibilities.
  3. Assess your parent’s finances and their own ability to pay for care. Obtain a listing of their assets, liabilities, and income (including Social Security payments, other retirement income and the account name and numbers into which they are deposited).
  4. Evaluate your parent’s medical and personal needs.
  5. Know who the doctor is and how to contact him or her. Determine if a geriatric assessment is necessary. Find out what medications are currently being taken, dosage and side effects.
  6. Find competent medical and geriatric care givers.
  7. Review medical coverage, prescription plans, Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid options.
  8. Explore the purchase of long term care policies.

 It is very important to discuss estate planning with your parents while they are both mentally and physically healthy. If they wait to make arrangements until after one of them is incapacitated in some way, their options will be seriously limited.

Patricia Annino is a nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  For more visit:  www.patriciaannino.com

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