Waiting until you have to make time-sensitive decisions is never a good idea, which is why you need to speak with your senior loved one early on about long-term health-related decisions. Sit down with your parent while he or she is mentally, physically, and emotionally competent, even if the topics are difficult to discuss. Below are some of the things you can do to help your parent get his or her affairs in order.
Choose a Power of Attorney
Your loved one may not want to discuss long-term health problems that could prevent him or her from making sound decisions, but it’s a must. Seniors need to choose who will get their powers of attorney, and they need to make those choices legally binding. Speak with your loved one about the benefits of putting someone in charge of his or her finances, medical decisions, and more. Give your loved one full control and accept his or her decision, even if he or she doesn’t name you as the legal representative. Choosing a power of attorney could prevent delays surrounding care, moving arrangements, and other decisions in the future.
If your loved one gives you medical power of attorney, you’ll have the authority to hire a home caregiver for him or her. When researching agencies that provide home care services, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.
Make Important Records Accessible to Other Family Caregivers
Your loved one could experience an accident or injury and be unconscious for hours or weeks, preventing him or her from retrieving financial records or insurance policies necessary to pay for various expenses such as medical treatment. Or your loved one could go away on vacation and need you to access his or her records while he or she is out of town. If you’re unsure where these documents are, your loved one should tell you immediately. Making the records accessible to you and other trusted family caregivers is vital to your loved one’s safety and care plan.
List Long-Term Care Wishes
Your family should discuss your loved one’s wishes in terms of his or her future living arrangements and medical treatment. Knowing your loved one’s preferences puts less stress on you and your family when making critical choices. Doing what your loved one wants could have a significant effect on his or her mental and emotional wellbeing, even if he or she is living with memory problems and poor cognitive health. It could also provide you with peace of mind knowing your loved one’s affairs are being conducted in precisely the way he or she wants.
If your loved one wants to continue living at home as long as possible, help is available. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Castle Rock, CO, Home Care Assistance is a leader in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Speak with an Elder Law Attorney
Most caregivers are unaware of the affairs their parents need to handle or the best time to start making these types of decisions. If this is the case, your loved one should speak with a qualified attorney who specializes in elder law. The lawyer will go over insurance policies, power of attorney documents, financial records, wills, trusts, and other pertinent information about all the affairs your parent should have in order. If your loved one is unable to pay for an attorney, you and your siblings could help with the cost or search for local and federal resources that cover all or most of these types of legal expenses.
If your loved one’s decisions include living at home throughout the golden years, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the possibility he or she may need help with the activities of daily living. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Castle Rock elderly home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 720-580-5378 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.