Those in Kansas City who have elderly relatives, such as parents, aunts and uncles, may be unsure of how to take care of their loved one if a care plan is not in place. Without a care plan, individuals in this situation may not know what types of medical care their loved one would want, what types of in-home health care services their loved one may prefer or, if their loved one needs to enter a nursing home, which one to choose. Similarly, they may not know how their loved one would like his or her finances managed if he or she reaches a point where he or she cannot make such decisions on his or her own.

Without legal documents such a health care and financial powers of attorney, a do not resuscitate order and a living will, it can be difficult to know how to proceed when a loved one becomes incapacitated or passes away. Therefore, it is important to have a conversation with your elderly loved ones to determine what they want, and then to take the legal steps necessary to create a care plan.

Additionally, it is important to consider how your loved one will support him or herself after he or she retires. Does he or she have insurance? Will he or she receive Medicaid? Does he or she have a retirement account or pension? Will they want to sell their home and keep the proceeds? What other financial resources do they have? These are important questions to consider when care planning.

In addition, even young people can create a care plan before they reach their elder years. After all, no one can anticipate the future, so it can help to have a formal plan in place. It only takes a serious accident or illness for even a young person to become incapacitated or die. Having a care plan in place ahead of time can help grieving loved ones cope.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Writing an Eldercare Plan,” Anita Kamiel, March 30, 2016

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