Get prepared ahead of time
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Welcome to the "Get prepared ahead of time checklist"
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DISCLAIMER:
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This document is yours to modify. It is not medical, legal, financial or any other kind of professional advice.
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We are simply sharing what we have seen work for other people. PLEASE CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.
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Get started
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CommunicateCome up with a plan with your loved one and family. Find an agreed way to communicate
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OrganizeLocate documents, write down contact information, get logins and passwords
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PlanCome up with a schedule. Consider housing options and finances as early as possible.
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Get helpGet your family on board and also examine which things you can hire for. There are lots of professionals that can help.
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Communicate
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Have the talkDon't ambush them. Plan ahead and say you want to sit down and discuss the plan. Do not make decisions for them. Do not come armed with paperwork for the first talk.
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When do they think they will need help?Talk about goals. Talk about needs.
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How do they want their life to look?
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Remember: They are adults. They don't need parents but they may need help. It is normal for them to resist help. Be respectful. If you are worried, one strategy is to ask them for advice on things you are worried about. Like, ask them about whether or not you should put in place a Power of Attorney in case something happens to you.
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Plan & Organize
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FINANCIAL & LEGAL ISSUESThere are very few ways to get financial support from the government to help caregiving. There are some but not a lot. It is important to come up with a budget and a financial plan. You can go to benefitscheckup.org to help figure out what you are eligible for.
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FAMILY DYNAMICSIt is very common for family issues to surface during this period. Know in advance that fights with siblings are common. Fights with parents are common. Put in place as many tools and open communication as possible to avoid these things, but know that it is common.
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BURNOUTIt is easy to get burntout. You can't do everything so enlist as much help as you can.
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RESOURCESThere are so many services out there to help you. The primary way to get help is through your local agency on aging.
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HOUSINGHow do they feel about the current situation? What about the future? What if they have a health deterioration?
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DAILY ACTIVITIESHow are things going now? Ask what the biggest obstacles they have now are?
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MEDICAL CAREDo they like their doctor? Do they have too many doctors that aren't coordinated around medications? If your loved one was to get in an accident, get sick or something, who would they want to make medical decisions for them? Get a healthcare proxy in place early.
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