As your loved one ages, it is important to make sure they are keeping their family members updated with their preferences and future wishes. This communication can feel awkward at first, but it will help everyone in the long run if the entire family is on the same page. While your loved one gets to choose their own Powers of Attorney and Executors, keeping other siblings involved with their future planning can help everyone avoid stress, arguments, and misunderstanding in the case of a medical crisis, cognitive decline, or death.
Here are just a few ways you can begin to be a part of your loved one’s future planning.
Talk Openly About Money and Financial Goals
This one can feel a little sensitive, as speaking about money is often looked down upon. However, you must begin opening up that door so that you can know what financial barriers your loved one might face now or might face in the future due to their fixed income. Talk about debt as well as their financial goals for the future, including if they have budgeted for support, like home care, that they might need in the next months or years.
Invest in Expert Assistance
When working with your loved one to set up their wishes and financial plans, invest in the assistance of experts. First, consult with a financial planner. If your loved one does not already have a financial planner, find one that they like and that has experience working with seniors in their retirement. A financial planner can help your loved one budget appropriately and advise them as their needs begin to change.
It is also crucial to develop a relationship with an experienced estate lawyer. A lawyer can help your loved one draw up Power of Attorney designations, a Living Will, a Do Not Resuscitate order, and their Last Will and Testament. The lawyer can also assist family members who are named as their assistance is required.
Involve Their Physician
It’s difficult to plan effectively if you aren’t sure what to plan for. While no one can guess what will happen in the next few years, your loved one’s physician can give recommendations based on any medical conditions your loved one may have. For example, budgeting for in-home assistance is wise for someone who is living with chronic pain, a disease that decreases mobility over time, or cognitive decline.
It is never too early to begin downsizing your loved one’s possessions. In fact, anyone can benefit from a rigorous organizational binge, no matter their age. Getting rid of extra clutter and things can often leave us with increased energy and creativity. The same is true for your loved one, but downsizing can also help them to be able to effectively manage their own things without assistance.
For example, someone that lives in a 5 bedroom home alone might benefit from downsizing to a 2 bedroom condo. Your loved one might find themselves feeling more stressed out by cleaning and maintaining such a large home. Work with your loved one to begin thinking about the best space for their needs as well as downsizing their possessions.
If you need assistance with downsizing, consider working with a professional organizer in your area who has experience with seniors. You can often find an organizer who will work with your budget, either helping you with the actual process of downsizing or simply giving you a to-do checklist based on a personalized assessment. Their expertise can be quite valuable as you begin to work with your loved one to clear the clutter.
At CaringGivers, we work closely with seniors and their family members to provide the extra assistance they may need that stays within their financial plans. Contact us today to learn more about our services.