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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Friday, January 25, 2019

10 Tips for Creating a Care Plan for Your Aging Parents

Aging is a natural progression that everyone experiences, but it can come with certain challenges. As our parents age, it may be necessary to provide additional financial, physical, and emotional care. Developing a care plan with your parents now can avoid issues and problems in the future. Below are 10 tips from our California long term care planning attorneys that can help you begin preparing a care plan for your aging parents.

 

Ten Important To-Do Items When Creating a Care Plan for Your Elderly Parents


1. Have a discussion with your parents.


The first step is to discuss a care plan with your parents. It may be a difficult conversation to have for both of you; however, it is important for your parents to feel as if they have a say in how they will be cared for in the future. You may want to discuss several “what if” scenarios to determine how you would handle those situations should they arise.


2. Identify the goals for your parents.


Identifying goals for your parents can help you, and your parents prepare for future care. Goals may include remaining active in the community or church; continuing an exercise plan to help retain physical strength; remain in their home as long as possible; stay close to family; and, remaining independent through alternate forms of transportation.


3. Create a list of important information.


Gather important information that you will need in the event of an emergency. Some of the information you need to have access to includes:

  • Names and contact information for doctors and medical providers
  • Insurance information
  • Birth certificates and Social Security cards
  • Passports
  • List of medications
  • Health and insurance cards
  • Medical insurance plans 
  • Long-term care insurance plans
  • Legal documents

4. Obtain all necessary legal documents as soon as possible.


Consult California elder law attorneys regarding the legal documents you need in place to help care for aging parents. The attorney may suggest a medical directive, durable power of attorney, HIPAA designation, living will, and other documents that give you the authority to make decisions for your parents.


5. Discuss flexible work hours with your employer. 


Check with your employer to determine if your employment benefits include time off to care for elderly parents. It is good to consider employment-related changes and financial obligations as soon as possible.


6. Research assisted care and in-home care. 


You may have several options for assisted care and in-home care. Several services offer elderly companions and sitters to help care for your parents if you work. 


7. Address safety concerns.


Do you need to modify your parents’ home to address safety concerns, such as adding ramps or handrails? You may need to add extra lights, security systems, handicap rails in the bathroom, and other items to make the home safe as your parents age and their physical health changes.


8. Create a backup system.


You may not always be able to take your parents to the doctor or to run errands. You may not be able to leave work immediately if your parent needs something during the day. Creating a network of individuals who are willing to help you with these tasks can be extremely helpful. 


9. Discuss Medicaid planning.


Because nursing home care is expensive, it is best to discuss Medicaid planning as early as possible with California elder law attorneys to ensure your parents are eligible for Medicaid should they need nursing home care.


10. Consider psychological and emotional support.


If your parents develop dementia or other related emotional or mental conditions, you may need assistance. Patients with dementia and related diseases prefer stable routines and environments. They also may require counseling and therapy to help them adjust as the disease progresses. Researching support groups and therapy in advance can help you maintain your parents’ quality of life during a difficult change.


Contact Our California Elder Law Attorneys for Help


Our California elder law attorneys can help you and your parents develop a care plan and execute the legal documents necessary to ensure our parents receive the care they need as they transition into each new phase in their lives. Contact our California elder law attorneys today for a consult. 



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