Resolve To Care For Your Parents In The New Year

Often, children find it difficult to recognize when their aging parents may no longer be able to care for themselves.  As you make your resolutions for the upcoming year, consider adding planning for your parent’s future to the list.  Not sure where to start? You’re not alone. According to Ethan Kassel, LCSW, C-ASWCM, Co-Founder of Garden State Elder Care, many adult children tend to struggle with the following three areas when realizing their parents are not as independent as they used to be: legal, financial and medical. In this post, we will explore these issues and the options available to help you plan a safe and secure future for your parents.

To get started, Kassel recommends answering the below questions:

Legal Issues: Do you know if your parents have the following documents and where they are kept?

  1. Will
  2. Living Will/Health Care Proxy
  3. Power of Attorney

Financial Issues: Do you have an understanding of your parent’s financial situation?

  1. Do you know who handles their finances?
  2. Do they have Long Term Care Insurance?
  3. Are your parent’s Social Security and Pensions directly deposited?

Medical Issues: Are you aware of the current status of your parent’s health?

  1. Do you know who their primary care phyician is?
  2. Do you when they were last seen by a doctor?
  3. Do you know what medications have been prescribed to your parents and whether they are taking them as prescribed?

If your answer to all of these questions is yes, then your next step is to have a conversation with your parents about what they want for their future, advises Kassel. Ask them if they want to remain at home with the option of home care assistance or if they may be happier in an assisted living facility.

If you do not have any of this information, Kassel suggests consulting an Elder Law Attorney and Geriatric Care Manager to help you get started and offers the following resources to identify professionals in your area: Elder Law Attorneys – http://www.naela.org, Geriatric Care Managers – http://www.caremanager.org.

Having an understanding of these issues will help you plan a secure future for your parents.  While this may not be an easy conversation to have, Kassel recommends framing it around helping your parents to maintain their independence.  If you experience any difficulties in starting the discussion, consult a Geriatric Care Manager.

If you or your parents are interested in learning more about assisted living and the options available to you, we’re here to help. Visit us online at www.care-one.com or call us at 1-877-99-CARE1 (22731).