Posted in Advice on Thursday, October 22, 2015
Caring for your aging parents is something you hope you can handle when the time comes. Whether the time is now or somewhere down the road, there are steps that you can take to make your life (and theirs) a little easier.
Some people live their entire lives with little or no assistance from family and friends, but today Americans are living longer than ever before. Start caring for aging parents by talking with them about their needs and wishes. Work together to develop a plan of care. If your parents are either unable or unwilling to talk to you about their future, you may need to do as much planning as you can without them, or, if their safety or health is in danger, step in as caregiver.
Prepare a personal data record.
Once you've opened the lines of communication, your next step is to prepare a personal data record. A personal data record is a document that lists information that you might need in case your parents become incapacitated or die. Information that should be included is financial, legal, medical, insurance, and other information regarding professional advisors and the location of important records. See this comprehensive checklist to begin.
Seek advice from professionals.
John Englin, Director of Financial Planning at Veridian, can provide guidance on key factors to consider when caring for your aging parents. If you live far from your parents or are too overwhelmed to handle all your parents' affairs, you can hire a geriatric care manager who will evaluate your parents' situation, suggest options, and coordinate professionals who can help. In addition, talk to your employer. Some employers have set up employee assistance programs that offer advice and assistance to people who are dealing with personal challenges, including caring for aging parents.
Don't try to do this alone. Many local and national caregiver support groups and community services are available to help you cope with caring for your aging parents. If you don't know where to start finding help, call the Eldercare Locator, an information and referral service sponsored by the federal government that can direct you to resources available nationally or in your area. Call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116.
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Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2015.