Americans today are living longer than prior generations. As individuals grow older, their needs may increase. Long-term care often involves children caring for their elderly parents. Children who have careers and/or families of their own may find it difficult to help care for their parents as they grow older and infirm.
Healthcare Aids and “Live-ins”:
The best way to handle these matters is to encourage your family member to become involved in his or her own long term planning. Individuals want to maintain their independence. There are times when a senior family member will reject your help. If your family member needs day-to-day assistance, a live-in companion may be a good route to take. Paying for healthcare can be expensive. A Medicaid application may need to be submitted to see if your family member qualifies for Medicaid benefits.
You should discuss a variety of end-of-life issues with your elderly family members. You should ask them whether they have a will, and if they don’t, suggest that they write a will. Discuss the need for a power of attorney should they become unable to handle their financial affairs.
You should discuss where your family member maintains his or her important information and documents. If password protected software is used, you should have access to those passwords if needed. Should your family member have bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds or life insurance, you should discuss where these assets are located.
Helping the elderly may be difficult, but it can also be very rewarding. Your parents brought you into this world and helped you to grow and develop. Children should help their parents and other family members.