Bringing up your senior loved one’s end-of-life wishes and talking about his or her affairs can be difficult, and it can be a challenge for your loved one to give up control or talk about these private matters. Doing some research and starting the conversation can help you and your loved one as you navigate putting his or her affairs in order.
1. Go Over Finances
Sit down with your loved one and his or her financial advisor. Make a list of all your loved one’s accounts, and make sure to include account numbers, names, and locations. If possible, consolidate similar accounts and ensure all accounts are titled correctly. Review your parent’s assets and investments, and talk with your loved one about any lifestyle adjustments that may be necessary to ensure he or she has enough resources for support. This is also a good time to go over your parent’s bills. Setting up a budget with the appropriate bill-paying information can help if you need to take over.
2. Gather Legal Documents
Make sure your loved one has all his or her legal affairs in order, which means ensuring his or her will or estate plan is up to date. The powers of attorney for your loved one’s finances and healthcare should also be updated. When updating your parent’s powers of attorney, encourage your loved one to create a healthcare directive that outlines whether he or she would like end-of-life care prolonged.
If your loved one gives you medical power of attorney, you’ll have the authority to hire a home caregiver for your parent. When researching agencies that provide at-home care, 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.
3. Discuss Insurance
Your loved one most likely has several insurance plans, including health, life, long-term care, automobile, and homeowners policies. Make a list of each policy with account numbers and contact information. You and your loved one should talk to a representative from each insurance company to ensure these policies are up to date and cover all possible expenses. It’s also important to look into your loved one’s health insurance and consider adding a Medigap policy to pay for things that aren’t covered by Medicare.
4. Help with Healthcare Appointments
It’s a good idea to write down the names of your loved one’s doctors, any medications he or she takes, and his or her health conditions, as this can be helpful if an emergency occurs. Some seniors have difficulty remembering doctor’s appointments as they age. Installing a simple reminder app on your loved one’s phone can prevent missed appointments.
5. Address Living Arrangements
Go over your loved one’s living situation. Some home modifications may need to be made to prevent accidents and make getting around easier. Look into safety modifications, such as installing a walk-in tub and grab bars by the toilet. If your loved one gets to the point where he or she is no longer able to live independently, talk about where he or she would like to live.
Your loved one may want to live at home as long as possible, and high-quality professional home care can make that easier. 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. Oshkosh, WI, 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.
6. Talk About End-of-Life Wishes
Your loved one’s funeral will be a celebration of his or her life. Ask if your loved one would like to help plan it. Funerals can be difficult to talk about, but your loved one may have specific wishes, such as the type of music that will be played and who will give the eulogy.
If your loved one’s preferences include living at home throughout his or her later years, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the possibility he or she may need help with the activities of daily life. 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 Oshkosh elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (920) 573-6295.