Requires intense attention to details..just the right amount of tuck, fold and stretch. As so, attention to details in the later years will help you out as the table turns when us adult kids care for parents.
You all who read my stuff know I often quote or refer to my mom, or grandma. Who represent examples of the reigning matriarchs in the best of Germanic tradition.
Grandma fell off a chair while using it as a step stool to washing windows, she was 90, which resulted in a broken hip. She did recover and lived on to be almost 100.
Now my mom 89, fell and broke her hip while wrestling with an oversize garbage bin on her sidewalk. She too recovered.
Both of these women, live alone and have a fierce attitude of retaining their independence and personal control (this includes the whole family) while being frugal to a fault.
Comments like.”.Mom, let me help you, or let me get someone in to help a couple of days a week” fall into the selective hearing category, followed by a passive aggressive comment like “its faster to do it myself”, or “they never get it right” etc.
You know what I mean …
So my question is: How do we help our aging parents and allow them to remain in control of their lives and choices.
This is what helped me.
- Make a list of all accounts and where they are held
- Get contact information for their advisers or attorney, give them a call and meet them.
- Consolidate and simplify accounts where possible. ( my mom and I share accounts now, so I can make sure she has everything covered, the down side is..she sees my ups and downs too)
- Make sure the accounts are titled correctly.
- Offer to sit in on a meeting with their financial adviser to review investments, make sure the asset allocation is appropriate and make sure there are adequate resources to support your parents’ lifestyle ( my mom is very private about her investments and affairs, so I never was invited to sit in.)
- Review Social Security benefits.
- Make sure all beneficiary designations are up-to-date.
- Streamline bill paying by making them automatic, so your loved ones lights stay on..
- Make a list of all insurance policies (life, health, long-term care, etc.) and where they are located and have the insurance company information updated.
- Offer to sit in on a meeting with the insurance adviser to see if a long-term care insurance policy would be appropriate.
- Review homeowners, auto and umbrella liability insurance to make sure they are adequate, appropriate and up-to-date.
- Review health insurance coverage and consider whether it would be appropriate to add a Medigap policy to pay for costs not covered by Medicare.
- Take a look at their I.D. such as drivers licenses etc.
Legal document s
- Do they have a will or estate plan?
- If so, does it reflect their current wishes (i.e. does it pass property to the correct people and have the correct people taking charge)?
- Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for finance?
- Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for health care? This is important cuz the medical community will be in total control if there is no power of attorney for a family member to make choices on procedures, testing, and medication.
- Does their health care power of attorney contain a health-care directive that spells out their wishes for life-prolonging care?
- Is the current housing situation suitable?
- Do any changes, updates or modifications need to be made to their home to make things easy and accessible.
- Have they made contingency plans for illness, disability or death of a spouse?
- Is there money available to pay for those contingencies (e.g. savings or long-term care insurance)?
- Make a list of their doctors as well as any medications they are taking.
- Help coordinate benefits between care providers and insurance companies.
Who would know there would be so many tucks, folds and stretching to get it right, the way mom wants and deserves.
Moms bed has always been the comforting refuge from drama, illness and pain of all sorts. There’s something magically healing and soothing in those folds of over washed sheets and generation old quilts that always work regardless of our age. Mom takes great comfort in making her bed just right so..
You better learn it..