Tools to help Adult Children of Aging Parents Cope with Elder Care Issues
Statistics show that the majority of our elderly population will be around for a long time and the caregiving of the elderly will be left up to the children of the elderly. It helps to know that there are support groups and other agencies around to assist. When the time comes for our parents to go into long term care or other elderly populations, the children will know how to handle making decisions that are right for their parents.
First off, the caregiver should ask questions. Find out what arrangements have been made. Some suggestions for this would be, "Do you have a Power of Attorney or Living Will?" These tools will be monumental when more care is needed and it is time comes to go into a nursing home or other long term care facility. A power of Attorney will be able to assist in making decisions regarding finances and also help in carrying out the wishes of the aging. A person can go to the library and make a copy of a basic power of attorney and a basic living will. Once the POA has been signed, it has to be notarized and then registered with the register of deeds in your county. Be sure to make a copy for yourself and for the person that will be resuming this role later. Living wills are handled the same way except, a copy should be given to your physician and local hospital.
Another issue that may arise is the cost of long term care. Insurance agencies can assist in showing the different types of policies and options that will be needed to help in paying for Elder Care at the time that they will need to go into a nursing home or other facility. Another option will be to discuss with your local Department of Social Services. They can assist in informing on what types of information will be needed in the event that someone will need assistance with their care. Adult Medicaid is a timely process and lots of information will be needed. Examples of things needed at that time will be bank statements, insurance policies and power of attorneys.
Long term care is a very important issue to discuss among the family. Knowing their wishes may detour hard feelings in the end. One suggestion would be to visit and tour all the local facilities in the area. Ask questions about nursing to patient ratios, activity programs, transportation to appointments and other things they may offer. Find out how much each cost and any other fees that could be an issue if not planned for. As a caregiver, your time would be better spent if the wishes were already in place and time can be spent more on caregiving than the issues that may arise. Having the time to spend with your loved one and not having to deal with caregiver issues, will make your long term experience more tolerable and allow time for enjoying each other instead of hashing out issues that were not planned for or discussed.
Finally, the Department of the Aging and local hospitals can give a list of local support groups and meeting times. Dealing with the decisions that need to be made now, and talking with others that have been through this, may give the support needed to assist in dealing with elder care issues and give the peace of mind that your loved one will be cared for in their time of aging.
The caregivers at Andelcare are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs. Andelcare is a home care agency providing quality, affordable home care in Seattle WA and the surrounding communities. Call 888-788-3051 for more information.