Family Discussions on Taking Care of Elderly Parents

affordable home care services for seniors at home caregivers elderly home care in Minnesota non medical home careIt’s not an uncommon occurrence.  It’s your sister’s birthday, and although it’s been just a month since you last saw Dad, you notice the changes.  His breathing is more labored.  He looks thinner, and he’s tiring out more than you remember.  When Dad leaves the room, everyone brings up the inevitable.  Dad is aging faster than you expected.

Summer celebrations and family reunions are a natural time to catch up face to face and take a few minutes to talk about future care for elderly parents or other aging relatives.  As you initiate an open dialogue about health, financial and legal issues, it’s important to keep the conversation relaxed and show respect, love, and sensitivity toward each other.

The following is a list of possible elder care topics and questions to address with siblings and other family members:

Financial

  • How will family members help with any current and future financial needs of your loved one?
  • Is it time to consult with a financial advisor?
  • Compile a list of financial institutions, assets, debts, and payments.
  • Keep all financial, insurance, and legal documents within easy access.

Legal

  • Make sure your loved one has an up-to-date will, living will, and other advance health directives.
  • Discuss the benefits of consulting with an elder care attorney or family attorney skilled in estate planning, healthcare planning, etc.

Medical

  • Assess the loved one’s current health and discuss any necessary doctor visits.
  • Compile a list of medical providers, current prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications.
  • Document details of prescription plans, long-term care insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

Living Arrangements

  • Discuss options for when your loved one needs in-home care or cannot live alone.

Caregiving Roles

  • Who will be the principal caregiver and who will share responsibilities (doctor visits, medication supervision, etc.)?
  • Develop a plan for involving timely caregiving help.

What concerns do you have with talking through care plans for your senior loved ones?

Paul Blom, CEO

August 6, 2012

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