Who Can Help You Organize Elder Care for Your Aging Parent?
Perhaps you are realizing that someday one of your parents, both of them, or another aging loved one is going to need help managing their life. It may fall on you to decide where they will live, how their affairs will be managed, and (possibly) even what kind of medical procedures they receive.
I know from experience that being an elder care organizer can be a lonely and overwhelming job. But, if the thought makes you feel like running for the hills, remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. Let’s look at some of the people and groups who can step in to assist you…
Your Parents Themselves
Naturally, you’ll want your parent or loved one to have the biggest voice when it comes to deciding their own circumstances (assuming they have the capacity to speak for themselves). Not only can they make important choices about their care, they can guide you toward financial resources, important documents, etc., that will be necessary along the way.
Other Siblings, Relatives, or Loved Ones
Do you have others in your family who care deeply for the senior in question? While one of you might want to be the care organizer and “point person” for doctors and legal representatives, you can get assistance and perspective from others. Perhaps they can pitch in at times when you need an extra pair of eyes and hands.
Legal and Financial Advisors
It goes without saying that you’ll probably need to work with an attorney and accountant who specializes in elder law or estate planning (at a minimum) at some point. You might also have a team of bankers, financial advisors, insurance representatives, and/or business succession specialists to guide you. Each of these can help you stay on the right side of the law, and the tax code, while making smart decisions.
Community or Facility Representatives
When you visit an assisted-living facility you will usually be greeted by a representative whose job it is to show you around and answer any questions. These individuals can be very helpful, but remember that they are paid to show you the most positive aspects. Use them as resources but rely on your own research and intuition more heavily.
I was able to find a volunteer to spend some time with my mother for a few hours a week through a local organization. There are similar groups all around the country, and indeed the world. These types of interactions benefit the senior and the volunteer, giving them both a kind of social contact they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Nonprofits and Senior-Focused Organizations
From the AARP to local-level advocacy groups, there are nonprofits who can help with housing, affordable care, medication costs, and even general questions about aging and illness. You’ll never be able to get their help, though, if you don’t take the first step of reaching out to them.
There are resources available to senior citizens and their families at the federal, state, and local levels. Dealing with a government agency typically means filling out forms and waiting for responses, but there is substantial aid out there, particularly if you or your loved one can demonstrate a clear financial need for assistance.
Ready to Take the First Step?
The list above isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you remember that looking after your loved one’s health and future doesn’t have to be something you do completely on your own.
If you want to learn more about organizing elder care or feel like it’s time to put some structure to your thoughts, ORDER the book today! It has personal stories, practical tips, and even a set of reusable forms and checklists to help you get started with a plan for your loved one.
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