If you’re wondering when is the right time to start planning for your elderly loved ones’ future, then the answer is now. You never know what tomorrow will bring or what the future holds which is why being prepared and having a plan is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. It helps to keep everyone on the same page, minimizing any uncertainty or stress during unexpected circumstances.
The following are some tips that’ll point you in the right direction. Learn them, know them and apply them to your own elder care planning.
- No planning starts without a conversation. Talk to your aging family member about their expectations of the future, i.e. where they want to live, how they want to live, are they open to moving, concerns about their health, and the like. During the conversation you should ask questions that will help you gauge their openness to different types of living situations. Ask them directly about their thoughts on the matter, give hypothetical scenarios and see how they respond, and let them know your concerns about their well being which will show them that you generally care.
- Begin researching different types of communities, home care alternatives, long term health care plans, insurance companies, attorneys and the like. The more informed you are about these things, the easier it is to explain them to your loved ones and the more confident you will be in the decision making process.
- Seek advice and guidance in regards to your senior’s financial well-being. Financial planning is one of the key factors to having a secure and comfortable future. This includes any current or future investments, existing debts, retirement funds, and savings account they may have. You want to make certain that their finances are being managed properly and are in good hands. Financial advisers and financial planners can be a great deal of assistance.
- Gather and update all legal documents and records. This can include medical records, bank statements, wills, trusts, and even contact information of close family and friends in case of emergencies. Not many seniors have all their documents organized or filed away correctly, doing so will make processes go a lot faster and smoother when it comes to signing up for health care plans, moving into an assisted living, and more.
- Get in touch with your elder’s attorney. Working closely with an attorney who knows your loved ones’ legal situation and history is another way you can plan for their future; making sure that everything is properly done and all legal matters are taken cared of including the designation of a “power of attorney” in case of illnesses or loss of memory, living wills, asset protections, etc.
- Make appointments to visit possible assisted living homes and other senior communities. Even if you’re undecided on whether or not your elder will be living in a senior community or continue living at their home, it’s always good to inquire about different options ahead of time which may eventually help you come to a conclusion on future housing arrangements. These visits will also give your elder an idea of what senior living is like and the many benefits and advantages it has. Don’t be hesitant to ask a lot of questions while you’re at the communities. The more you know about them, the better informed your decisions will be.
- Meet with each and every family member that will be involved in the decision making process. Siblings, aunts and uncles or even close family friends will have their own opinions and ways on how to go about caring for your elder. Coming together to share ideas, discuss alternatives, weigh out the pros and cons and come to an arrangement on which everyone can agree upon will make the entire process a lot less stressful. This is especially true for your aging parents or grandparents who are involved; no one wants to see their family quarrel especially when the issue is about them.
8) Schedule occasional physicals and checkups for your seniors. Knowing the status of their health is very important when it comes to planning their future. If they have an ongoing illness or if their health seems to be declining, ask their doctor for recommendations on home care professionals or if long term health care would be ideal for their medical situation. Be sure to take note of everything their doctor says; any insight on their well-being will be beneficial to your planning.
Author Bio – This article has been written by Mary Herald, a writer for Sunshineretirementliving.com, a retirement community with over 18 locations. For more information on their retirement community in Folsom, California, click here for more info.