How to Plan Ahead with Aging Parents

​​Plan Ahead with Aging Parents: 3 Things You Need to Discuss Today

You can never really be sure what is going to happen in life. Even though many people in the United States are living well into their 80s and 90s, and 60 seems to be the new 40, it’s always a good idea to discuss late-life and end-of-life care with your parents when everyone is still healthy and those decisions seem like years away. If you have a plan in place, then you’ll all be better able to deal with the unexpected and unpleasant situations that may arise, and you’ll have more emotional and mental energy for improving quality of life during that time.

But even in the best of times, these discussions can be hard to get going. If you need help, suggestions and ideas for having a thoughtful, loving discussion that covers all the essentials, just call our At Home Personal Care team. We’re ready to help: (703) 494-3989.

1. Documents You’ll Need

Having clear, signed, valid documents that say what your parents want and need is critical for answering sticky questions efficiently and compassionately. Even though no one wants to think about these now, take some time to get the following documents in order with your parents so if something happens, you’ll know what they want you to do:

  • A will or advanced plan of care
  • Power of attorney
  • Organ donor information
  • Trust documentation
  • Life insurance and medical insurance policies
  • Funeral and burial instructions

The discussions surrounding these documents, and the issues they deal with, can be sensitive, so it may be a good idea to schedule them during a time when stress levels are low and everyone is as relaxed as possible. Always be thoughtful and sensitive to your parents’ needs and feelings and make sure agreements and documents are easy to find and read whenever they’re needed. In addition to these, many of our patients have found that they also needed these documents to make arrangements as well:

  • Medical records and documentation
  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Deeds and titles to property and vehicles
  • Contact information for doctors, extended family, close friends, etc.

Again, having these documents clearly arranged, stored and validated will save time and make difficult times a little bit smoother.

2. Financial Planning in Advance

Late-life and end-of-life care can be financially demanding and incredibly stressful. Since nobody knows exactly when it might be needed, it’s a good idea to talk with your parents about what kinds of services they expect and want well before they need them. Help them sit down with a financial planner to make some arrangements for saving up and purchasing long-term care insurance so that if something happens, the finances and insurance policies are in place to take care of whatever needs arise.


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3. Ask About Home Care

More and more seniors insist upon staying in their homes as long as they can through their aging years, and it’s no surprise. Who wouldn’t want to stay in the place where they feel most comfortable and familiar? As home care services in Northern Virginia expand and become more and more popular with aging seniors, it’s a good idea to discuss the sorts of care your parents might need or want as they age.

At Home Personal Care provides everything from highly-skilled nursing services and palliative care to companionship, therapeutic and basic housekeeping services. We can help seniors get to and keep appointments, keep to their doctor’s nutrition recommendations, take medications, help with dressing, or even just talk and play board games.

Don’t wait until an emergency or mishap occurs with your aging parents to get everything arranged. The last thing you want your parents or family members doing is making hurried, panicked decisions about these things in an emergency. Planning ahead and making prior arrangements and saving up for the future will make those difficult times a little bit easier when they come. If you’re having trouble getting the conversation started, please call At Home Personal Care today for help. We’ve been there, and we’ve helped families across Northern Virginia ease into these discussions and made life a lot easier in the process: (703) 494-3989.

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