Published by Taylor Financial Group
Becoming a caregiver to a loved one is a likely occurrence in almost everyone’s life. Sometimes this role is temporary, and other times it can be long-term. Either way, being a caregiver can change your life in many ways. This role can be emotionally taxing and often stressful, as the responsibility involves financial and legal matters, as well as a potentially overwhelming schedule. By planning in advance and setting some helpful goals, preparing for this role can be made more manageable. In the upcoming weeks, we will provide several helpful tips for caregivers (or anyone trying to assist an elderly person).
The first step is to create a Caregiver Plan!
Creating a Caregiver Plan can help guide you through the process. For starters, it is extremely important to have a discussion with your loved one while they are still able to express their wishes. Before having this discussion, you should write down a list of topics you would like to cover, such as finances, medical wishes, treatment plans, and estate plans, to name a few.
Here’s a more complete list of items you should consider discussing and establishing with your loved one:
– Designate a family coordinator or team leader, to see the process through.
– Assess the needs of your loved one.
– Gather information regarding your loved one’s finances.
– Discuss instructions for your loved one’s health care wishes.
– Appoint a Health Care Agent or Health Care Proxy who will have the legal authority to make decisions when your loved one is unable to.
– Appoint a Power of Attorney to act on legal or financial matters.
– Discuss public and private benefits that may apply to your loved one.
– Discuss charitable requests your loved one may have.
– Ensure Estate Planning matters are in order.
– Discuss funeral arrangements, burial or cremation requests, service location, and any special preferences.
Click here for a helpful Caregiver Planning Guide to help you prepare for caregiving responsibilities. This guide can provide you with helpful tips, assist you with goal planning, and help assess your loved one’s needs. Keep in mind, once you gather all pertinent information and create the plan, it is very important that you store everything in a secure and safe place. Consider storing these items in a physical place as well as an electronic location, like a digital vault, for more security and accessibility. For example, WealthMatch, our personalized financial planning system, provides clients with their own vault, which clients can access at any time, and for which they can also provide customized access to trusted family members and friends, as well as professionals. This can be very helpful in case of “the unexpected.”
In addition, encourage your loved one to write a letter that outlines their wishes. A personal letter can serve as a reminder to you (the caregiver) of the sentiment and meaning behind your loved one’s wishes.
As overwhelming as the caregiver role can be, if you start with a plan and keep documents and information organized, you will alleviate some of the stress. Stay tuned for more helpful caregiving tips in the coming weeks.
If you are (or may one day become) a caregiver, you should seek both legal and financial professional advice by professionals who specialize in elder care. If you have any questions about caregiving plans for yourself or a loved one, please give us a call. We are ready to assist you!
AARP Foundation, “Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families,” by AARP.
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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.