This blog provides you with some important tips for caring for elderly parents. Consider these tips for caregiving for your elderly parents as they age, and need more assistance.
- Sit down with your parents to discuss their needs and plans.
- Develop a checklist with your parents that identifies where important papers are stored, contact information for medical professionals, lawyers, bank and broker information, etc.
- Check on their will. Parents should have a will and a living will, which guides health care providers in what types of treatment to provide and what should not be given.
- Determine how they would like for you to handle things should one or both become incapacitated. Execute a Power of Attorney so that you are able to handle important legal and financial matters, and make decisions in specified areas should that be required.
- Examine Medicare benefits, to determine what is and is not covered under your parents’ current plan, including information about coverages, limits, out-of-pocket costs, and co-pays. There are and there are a number of gaps in coverage unless a Medigap or Medicare Advantage policy is in place, and a drug coverage plan is in place. Medicare does not cover nursing home care.
- Develop a plan and a budget for caregiving, so that a framework will be in place as parents develop needs for assistance at home. Although it can be a delicate issue, discuss finances with your parents to determine what resources they have available for caregiving. Develop a budget.
- Identify helpful community resources, such as the local Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, non-medical and medical caregiving services. Make sure to investigate community organizations as well as governmental and quasi-governmental programs. Local Senior Centers often have excellent information about resources.
For more resources to help you with caring for your elderly parents, visit the following websites:
National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)