Planning Ahead with Your Aging Parent
The average life expectancy in the United States is around 80 years old, and many people live well into their 80s and 90s, some going past 100. There is no way of knowing exactly how long someone will live. This can make caring for an aging parent even more challenging because you don’t know what needs they may develop as they get older or what type of shape they will be in physically and mentally. Planning ahead is an essential step for being more prepared for whatever comes your way.
Important Documents to Have on Hand
No one wants to think about the end-of-life, but having these discussions ahead of time is important. Talk to your loved one about what their wishes are. What type of medical care do they want to receive? Who do they want to make decisions on their behalf if they are unable? Do they have special requests for end-of-life such as organ donation or cremation? These are things the family should know. A few documents that can help include:
- Power of Attorney
- Will or Advanced Care Plan
- Trust documents
- Organ donor information
- Medical/life insurance policy information
- Funeral/burial instructions
Make sure that all of these documents are in one convenient location so you’re not searching at the last minute trying to find something. Put them in a safe or lockbox for safe keeping and easy access. It can also be a good idea to have these types of documents on hand:
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Medical/Medication information
- Deed to their home; title to their car
- Contact information for family, friends, doctors, etc.
Since no one knows exactly what their life expectancy is, it can be a good idea for seniors to work with a financial planner to help them keep their finances in order. This can allow for better planning to ensure their income and savings last throughout their retirement. They may also want to discuss insurance coverage and make sure they have the right policies in place for their needs.
If your loved one wants to stay in their own home and live as independently as possible, arranging for in-home care is a good plan to put in place. In-home care in DuPage providers such as Always Best Care work with you to determine what services your loved one would benefit from, how often they need someone there, and for how long. Care is tailored to their unique needs and can be adjusted as their needs change. From help with light housekeeping and meal preparation to organizing mail or getting out and about in the community, an in-home care provider can be a real asset to aging in place.
So as you are planning ahead and making sure all of the right documents are in place, don’t forget to look at their current needs and consider how in-home care could help. Contact Always Best Care Senior Services today to learn more or schedule your free consultation. It’s never too early to start planning for the future.