What should I keep in mind as my parents age?

Working with an aging parent is not easy. In addition to potentially needing to take on a caregiving role as your loved ones age, you also need to be aware of the legal miasma surrounding aging.

Fortunately, there is plenty of help. Being organized and aware of your resources can help your family age gracefully together. According to the AARP, make sure that your loved one has all of his or her paperwork in order, and create a family plan for aging.

Getting the right paperwork

Obviously, making sure that your loved one has an updated will is paramount. This is particularly important if your loved one is battling dementia: the longer your family waits for a comprehensive estate plan, the more difficult the process will prove to be.

It is also important to ensure that your loved one has a chosen power of attorney, and a living will. There is no way to predict when one might become unable to make decisions for themselves.  Having these documents prepared ahead of time ensures that you carry out your loved one’s wishes, even if they are no longer conscious or competent.

The family plan

Getting all of the family on the same page with aging is vitally important. Depending on your situation, this does not necessarily need to be a legal document. However, if there are tensions in the family, having the law involved may be a boon. The family plan should include all of the above-mentioned paperwork, as well as agreements on caretaking roles and responsibilities. Whether the document is legal or not, having all parties involved sign it can help prevent future disagreements.

Aging is difficult, but inevitable. Having the right plan in place can help immensely.



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