~Post made in partnership with Genworth Financial~
Having to take care of a aging loved one comes quite unexpectedly. This we all learned a few years ago when my Grandmother started having trouble. My sister, her big heart and her large family moved nearby to help out with tasks she was having difficulty doing herself. As the years have gone by, so has the responsibilities increased and eventually my nephew, his wife and their two children moved in to help out with daily tasks. What no one realized at the beginning of this endeavor to care for our Grandmother so she could stay in her home, was how little everyone knew about Caregiving. The idea seemed easy enough, but in retrospect, there is a lot to making sure elderly family members are comfortably respected.
My Mom had always taught me about planning ahead and always having a Plan B in mind, to make sure that all the bases were covered. Watching things unfold for my Grandma without any planning has made me realize how important it honestly is. I wanted to share with you and my own family, 3 steps to help you with planning.
- Have the discussion ahead of time with your siblings and parents on who will be the Caregiver as well as the trusted person to be Power of Attorney if necessary. Figure out if there is Long-Term Care Insurance or the financial situation in retirement. Everyone needs to have some idea and be aware of what Caregiving for parents can cost and what services are available to assist ahead of time.
- Make sure you have immediate Important Documents. The 3 below are the most important documents that must be available before a crisis ever occurs.
- A Living-Will
- Durable Power of Attorney
- “Do Not Resuscitate” Order
Although it is not as important as the three listed, having any pre-arrangement information available can also provide peace of mind to everyone.
- Research Laws and Resources in your area. Knowing what is available for assistance as well as keeping up on the regulations for family Caregivers is important. Make sure that you re-evaluate them every year to make sure that they are updated for whomever is taking responsibility.
The video below, offered from Genworth Financial helps to explain why planning is important with the understanding that it is a difficult task to bring up.
Taking care of those we love isn’t always easy, just ask any Mom! But it does help when there is the comfort in knowing that no matter the circumstance, you know what your parents or grandparents want and the ability to care for them respectfully.
I don’t know about your Grandparents, but our Grandma is one tough cookie! I can only imagine what it must feel like for her to have to need help after all the years she had so proudly taken care of all of us. It was one of the main reasons no one knew what to do when the time came and we were all unprepared. Thankfully we had a strong person in our family who stood up to the task, but not everyone may have someone like my sister Mel, so I wanted to share with all the other families out there the first step in planning for Caregiving.
I’ll be continuing information on Caregiving by sharing information on Long-Term Care Insurance next month!
If you are already taking care of a family member, share some advice with us!
This post is supported by Genworth Financial. The opinions and story are my own.