Rehab Select Blog

5 Things You Should Know: Caring for Aging Parents Checklist

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Jul 31, 2018 8:30:00 AM

caring for aging parentsBecoming a caretaker for your aging parents can be a quite an adjustment. It is emotionally difficult to see and accept that your parents have come to the point of needing care, and delivering that care can be physically difficult and stressful. However, being well-prepared for that role can make things a little easier than they might otherwise be. To help you do that, here are 5 things you should know as you embark on this journey, in the form of a handy caring for aging parents checklist.

Your first step is sitting down with them and asking the hard questions – which will be difficult for both them and you – and very detailed ones. Here, in our caring for aging parents checklist, are some of the more important topics to discuss.

Their Financial Details

You will need to know the details of your parents’ finances to help them manage their care and their daily lives – especially if your assistance will extend to bill paying and other financial aspects of their daily lives. Details you need to be made aware of include:

  • Information on all accounts, including checking, savings, CDs and investment accounts

  • Contact information for any financial advisors they work with

  • Details of retirement and Social Security benefits, as well as any other sources of income

  • A detailed list of monthly expenses

Their Insurance Details

It is important to know what types of insurance your parents hold and how they can be helpful at this time of their lives. It is also important to know what their limitations are and to be sure that they are updated with current information. To be well-informed on these issues, you will need to locate and go over the details of policies with your parents, including:

  • Any health insurance policies that are in place, including private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid

  • Long term care insurance

  • Life insurance

  • Auto insurance

  • Homeowners insurance

About Legalities and Important Documents

Knowing what legal documents your parents have in place, where they are kept and whether or not they reflect their current wishes and intentions is important. Questions you should ask include:

  • Do they have a will and/or an estate plan?

  • Do they have a living will, health care directive or a power of attorney for health care?

  • Do they have a power of attorney for finances?

About Their Living Arrangements

Finding out how they feel about their current living arrangements and what changes they may accept should their current home become impractical for their needs is also essential. Considerations to discuss with them include:

  • Does their current home meet their needs?

  • Is it safe and livable?

  • Are there modifications or updates that could make their lives easier or safer in their current home?

  • Would they be open to moving if their current home does not meet their needs now or may not in the future?

Their Health Details

Last, but certainly not least, you will need to know as much as possible about your parents’ health/medical situation. Important details to ask about include:

  • The names and contact information of any physicians, specialists or other health care providers they are using

  • Details on medical conditions, treatments, medications and so on

  • Will they allow you to be brought into the loop (legally) via direct communication with their health care team?

All of these topics on our caring for aging parents checklist are essential ones to discuss. However, if they are difficult for you or your parents to handle, you don’t necessarily have to cover them all in one sitting.

Topics: Aging Patient Healthcare