Do you need help for yourself or a senior you’re caring for? There are a number of home care agencies that can provide various levels of help such as meal preparation, personal care, and even rides to the doctor or other locations. View A Sample>>
Care from a Distance
Living away from a parent who needs help is a challenge. However, there are many options to consider. For example: call more frequently, talk with trusted neighbors or family friends about setting up a care schedule (to include tasks such as meals, driving the senior to an appointment, doing laundry), set up your visits around the senior’s doctor visits.
Are you and your siblings at wits end because you know your parents need some additional care, but they aren’t willing to discuss it? You may want to hire a Geriatric Care Manager. This is someone who has experience with senior care, and more importantly is outside of the family. Get a list of the appropriate questions to ask this person prior to hiring. View A Sample>>
This form is filled out to include the hospital choice, phone number and location. In addition, there should be at least 3 people identified including their contact information.
This log is a practical tool for documenting who comes to the home or apartment to provide care or help for the parent or other senior family member. Whenever anyone comes to the senior’s home, they sign-in; write in the date and reason for the visit.
Whether you’re caring for a loved one or your adult children are helping you out with financial matters, get the pertinent information listed for easy access when needed. View A Sample>>
It’s a good idea to organize lists of assets and other financially-related information. We don’t want to wonder where all this information is located; it should be easily accessible for future reference. Whether it’s for you, or for your parents, organizing this information ahead of time will reduce the stress of urgency. View A Sample>>
You can’t pay bills on a timely basis, if you don’t know what the bills are. This can become a challenge when there isn’t any organization. Filling out tables for each type of expense (monthly, annual, semi-annual) will make it easier to document, and pay what is due. View A Sample>>
Once this page is filled out, the contact summary listing the various financial institutions provides the ability to find a phone number, office contact or email address at quick glance.
If you don’t know where to start with respect to Medicare or Medicaid, you can get a quick start to understanding how these work, who to call, how to apply, and additional notes.
Elder Law Attorney
This type of attorney focuses his/her legal practice on issues affecting the aging population. Here’s an example, if you, or your parent or other senior family member need advice concerning Medicaid: e.g., eligibility guidelines, how assets fit in, or how it affects the spouse, a consultation could be very worthwhile.
Durable Power of Attorney
If you don’t have a power of attorney for yourself; or if the aging parents you’re caring for don’t have one, you all need one. The importance of a power of attorney can’t be denied. It’s when you don’t have one, that you’ll wish you did. In this four page section, you will learn about: considerations for setting it up, various types of power of attorney, and who requires one. View A Sample>>
Health Care Directive
In order for family members to know what our wishes are when we are very ill and/or dying and can no longer direct our own healthcare decisions, the Health Care Directive is an essential document to have completed.
If you or your aging parent does have a prepaid funeral policy, make a copy of it along with any applicable contact information accessible. If you don’t have one, it may be of value to research a prepaid plan and if so, be sure to meet with 2 or 3 different company representatives.
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It’s possible that you do not know about the necessity of being a Representative Payee when dealing on behalf of a family member who is on Social Security. A power of attorney doesn’t work. Additional information is provided concerning communicating with the Social Security Office on behalf of your aging parent, you, or your spouse.
Keeping track of doctors, dentists, appointments, and visit outcomes to name a few, can easily be handled with some reference tables along with forms for writing brief comments or notes. In this section of the Organizer, you will find several different types of tables and forms to fill in.
Seniors often take a large number of medications with the ever-present possibility of missing doses, taking too much, or not taking the medication at all. It’s essential to maintain a current list of all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Other pertinent general information is included.
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Devices & Equipment
Remembering dates is often a challenge for all of us. Using a table to identify devices (e.g., pacemaker, hip replacement) or equipment (e.g., walker, lift chair) along with the dates when they were placed or when their use originated, provides an easy reference.
There are a number of professionals who are interested in knowing about current medical conditions – whether it be for ourselves, or an aging parent we may be caring for. Identifying these conditions on a ‘quick reference’ table makes it so much easier to supply the information (e.g., condition, date diagnosed) to a new doctor, emergency room personnel, hospital staff, insurance agent, to name a few. View A Sample>>
For the same reason as described under Medical Conditions, maintaining a ‘quick reference’ table of all surgeries (including dates performed along with any pertinent notes) that have occurred in the past, makes it very easy to provide the information when necessary.