I have broken down the caregiving responsibilities into five main categories, they include:
Legal/Estate– This involves taking responsibility in making sure that the person’s wishes and assets are protected and honored. Some of the question to put into consideration include:
- Is there a living will in place the event you or a loved one cannot make or express your/their wishes?
- Is there a will that outlines the direction on how to handle your estate after you or your loved one has passed on?
- Who is listed as the Power of Attorney to make any legal decisions that are needed?
- Who is listed as the Healthcare Proxy to make health and medical decisions on behalf of the patient (whether that is you or a loved one)?
- What kind of money accounts do you or your loved one have and who is listed as a beneficiary?
Financial– This includes managing finances, paying for the funeral and other final expenses. Some questions to consider can be:
- Is there a life insurance policy? If so, with what company and how do you file a claim once a loved one has passed on?
- How are you paying for medical care, is it Medicare, Medicaid or a long-term insurance policy?
- Do you or your loved one have pension or Social Security benefits? Who qualifies for survivor benefits once you or your loved one has passed on?
Medical: This involves knowing the medical state of yourself or your loved one. Some consideration questions include;
- Do you have a list of current medications and their dosage?
- Do you know the family medical history?
- Do you have a list of current doctors and medical providers?
Housing– This is about prepping the home for safety as we age. Some things to consider
- What home modifications are needed to get in and around the house? Ramp? Stair lift? Railings for the couch, toilet, tub or bed?
Care options– This is about asking where does one want to receive care? Some questions to ask can include:
- What are the pros and cons of receiving care at home verses in an assisted living facility or a nursing facility?
- How do you transition from one place of care to another?
This information is coming from a place of care and personal experience. I am sharing not because I am an expert. I am navigating this process myself and wanted to share what has come up for me. As you move forward with the abovementioned items, I recommend you to consult an estate attorney, financial advisor and a patient advocate. They are trained professionals who can help you explore your options and make the best decisions for you.
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