5 Tips on Caring for Your Elderly Parents

The older we get, our parents do as well. For many of us, it becomes our responsibility to take care of Mom and Dad as they get on with age, and I know most families face difficult questions about how to handle and navigate elderly care. Equally important is open communication with both parents and siblings.

If you have ever moved, you know its incredibility disruptive. Most of our parents have lived in their homes for well over 40 years and this step is very emotional. It is the cold reality that life, as we all know it, has changed. Birthday parties, family celebrations and smells of the favorite foods are all woven into the walls of our homes. Facing enormous change as a couple or widow is overwhelming. Understanding the emotional component and having a great deal of compassion is key, but not always easy.

As middle-aged adults, our own mortality begins to enter the forefront of our thought. We too face a mired of emotions watching our parents age. For us, not only are we helping our parents, we too realize the importance of creating a financial foundation for our own children so as to limit their burden. This subject is one that I will explore in another blog.

I did some research and discovered a few things that could help you as you investigate different options for your loved ones. There is a whole industry of consultants, psychologists and specialized moving companies who are experts in this area who can also be contacted for advice and assistance. Here are the 5 tips:

  1. Consider the Elderly Legal Assistance Program (ELAP)

Thanks to federal funding, Georgians who are 60 years and older can receive access to lawyers and paralegals to represent them in non-criminal legal cases, information and community education. The ELAP program can provide information regarding income, consumer protection, abuse, neglect and exploitation, healthcare, long-term care and more! Program services include:

  • Legal information
  • Legal counseling
  • Case representation
  • Legal education sessions to help older Georgians prevent more costly, time-consuming legal problems

Georgia Elderly Legal Assistance Program 

  1. Paying For Nursing Homes

Nursing homes in Georgia cost an average of $6,000 to $9,000 per month…and some places are even more expensive! When you are considering the costs, know that there are basically four ways that you can pay:

  • Use long-term care insurance
  • Pay with your own funds (yikes!)
  • Apply for VA assistance
  • Apply for Medicaid

Hurley Elder Care Law FAQs

  1. Know the Difference between Guardianship & Conservatorship
  • A guardianship is sometimes necessary when an individual has lost sufficient functional capacity to make or communicate significant, responsible decisions about their health and safety. The may exhibit behaviors such as: not eating properly, not taking prescription medications, hoarding, and poor personal hygiene.
  • A conservatorship may be necessary when an individual can no longer make financial transactions or decisions for himself. They may have lost functional capacity and can no longer make financial decisions. For example, that person might be making bad financial choices due to a form of dementia or perhaps is being financially exploited by another individual or family member.

Hurley Elder Care Law FAQs

  1. Power of Attorney

You might have heard of this one: the power of attorney (POA). This is a legal document saying you’re granting someone else (the attorney-in-fact) the power to act on your behalf. The biggest benefit is that it allows you to choose who you want to represent you if you’re unable to manage your affairs on your own, rather than having a representative chosen for you. Aging adults typically use POAs as part of their general estate planning or managing any personal, medical or financial decisions as they age.

What is a Power of Attorney?

  1. Other Caregiver Resources

For further reading, check out these helpful links:

What are some challenges or obstacles you’ve faced when it comes to elderly care? How do you navigate through making these decisions for your loved ones? Email me at alison@alisonandco.com and let me know!

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