Caring for aging parents can be difficult, and it gets more complicated as our siblings and we grow older, have children of our own, and become less physically able to provide care in person. As we reach the end of our ability to provide in-person care, we need to decide where our aging parents will receive their care — for example, at an assisted living facility near us or a nursing home near them — and who will be responsible for paying their bill. This checklist can help each of us prepare for our parents’ care.
Have a Clear Goal
An estate plan can get complicated quickly, but it’s worth taking some time to sit down and hash out what we and our family want. We should have a big-picture conversation with our parent(s) about where we see ourselves in 5, 10, or 20 years — and how we want to take care of each other.
Understand Your Parents’ Goals and Values
We can’t plan if we don’t know what our parents are hoping to achieve. We have to start by assessing what our parents’ values — travel, peace and quiet, a life of service? Then ask how that fits with where they are currently living and what kind of care they may need now or at some point down the road.
Start Early, Prepare Often
If we have aging parents, we think about what will happen when they can no longer care for themselves. Getting an elder law attorney involved is an important first step — an elder law attorney can help us plan our parents’ estate and their future care while they’re still healthy.
Take Action; Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t procrastinate. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to implement and plan a parent’s care. Having conversations with our parents about what they want and expect will not only help us better prepare for their care needs but also helps ensure that their end-of-life wishes are respected. Start by creating a list of questions that need to be addressed, such as: when do they want to have health care directives in place?
Caring for our aging parents’ needs is a big responsibility. At Paths Law Firm, our team of elder law attorneys can help alleviate some of the work that goes into planning. Contact us to get started today.