Understandably, it’s not the most pleasant conversation to have. When your parent or parents are approaching an advanced age, or dealing with a medical condition that’s diminishing their faculties, it’s necessary to make a plan for elder care. While the topic may seem unpleasant, it’s crucial to ensuring that your parents have the late-in-life care they deserve.
Planning for elder care can add unnecessary stress if it’s done hastily. You want to be prepared and thorough in order to achieve the most comfortable result possible for your parents. As this may be a stressful time, it’s important to exercise clear judgment to make the best decisions for your family.
Here are some tips to aid you in navigating the elder care planning process:
Get the legal matters out of the way
When planning for elder care, it’s helpful to resolve the legal matters first. Establishing powers of attorney for your parents’ finances and healthcare is an important first step. By having these orders in place, you can allow for a smoother delegation of decision-making responsibilities later on.
Dealing with the cost of care
Elder care can be costly. For example, at a conservative estimate, adult daycare can cost about $1,500 per month. You’ll want to do what you can to ensure that your parents’ finances are in a position to meet these expenses. It can also be helpful to explore your parents’ Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, as these programs could potentially limit the financial burden.
Place an emphasis on safety
Consider what level of care for your parents will be the safest. If, for example, living at home presents significant risks for falls, advanced professional care may be necessary. It’s also prudent to be mindful of fraudulent financial schemes. As shameful as it is, there are live-in care and Social Security scams that prey on the elderly and vulnerable.
Know the different levels of care options
Obviously, the level of care that your parents will require is subjective. Maybe they’ll be able to maintain a level of independence, but if they’re afflicted by a condition like dementia, they may require round-the-clock care. Elder care is not one-size-fits-all, and the services available are extensive, so it’s helpful to take stock of everything—cleaning, cooking, bathing, etc.—that your parents may need when drawing up a plan.