Good Morning New Caregiver! Today is a new week, in this new normal -facing new challenges. Some of us may have had our doubts that this “new normal” of living in this world with the Coronavirus was going to be temporary. Well, reality just set it and it’s going to be a longer ride and so begins your new journey with your Aging Parent or Loved one. Over the past several weeks as the Coronavirus situation spread across the country, many of us have come to realize – “my parents ARE in that group that is at most at risk. OMG, They are old. When did that happen?” Now what do I do? Continue reading for aging parent conversation tips.

There are other websites that are more suited to guide you through the Coronavirus Crisis, that is not what this Blog is about. We are here today to help you take some of the first steps in having some serious conversations with your #agingparent or loved one about their “Plans.”

You know – those plans for when something happens to them or to one of them. It is The Talk about their future plans – about an illness that does not allow them to return to their home, about the people who they envision caring for them or being responsible for making decisions for them if they become unable to, and about the time for when their life comes to pass. Its all of these hard, difficult and uncomfortable conversations; but ones that are so important for you to become aware of today.

We are going to take you through some scenarios to help you become more comfortable with this process. Lets start with some of the Basics. Here are several of the key documents involved in this type of planning process: Thank you Legal Zoom with these definitions.

  • HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY – The health care power of attorney is a document in which you designate someone to be your representative, or agent, in the event you are unable to make or communicate decisions about all aspects of your health care. In the most basic form, a health care power of attorney merely says, “I want this person to make decisions about my health care if I am unable to do so.” 
  • HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE –  A living will, commonly referred to as an advance directive, is a document that provides instructions regarding end-of-life care.  Living wills allow you to make your own choices about life support and helps prevent confusion about the type of care you do or do not want in the event you become incapable of communicating your wishes. Without a living will, the laws in your state will determine who will make your health care decisions. 
  • LAST WILL – A last will and testament is a legal document that lets you designate individuals or charities to receive your property and possessions when you pass away. These individuals and charities are commonly referred to as beneficiaries in your last will.    The main purpose of a will is to ensure that your wishes, and not the default laws of the state, will be followed upon your death. 

Conversation Starter:

“Dad, in light of this situation with the Coronavirus, do you and Mom have things in place for if something happens to either one of you?

Listen:

Pay attention to what they tell you. Be kind. If they become upset, don’t push it – say to them, “I know this is hard to think about, but it is important that in the upcoming days we revisit this.”

Probing Questions:

“Do you have a Will in place or Healthcare Directive?”

“Have you and Dad ever talked about end of life plans – do you have any?

If your loved one says they have it covered – Great! The only thing for you to do is to ask them where do they keep their “important papers” should you need them one day in the future.

But if they have not done any of this planning, here is where you can go to get some great help. Legal Advice does not have to cost a fortune. As a matter of face, it does not have to cost anything at all, as in one of the solutions we are sharing with you today.

  • FREEWILL – Why is FreeWill free?  FreeWill is made possible by the support of many nonprofit organizations.  Many of the users choose to leave a portion of their estate to charity.   www.FREEWILL.com
  • EVERPLANS APP – This app helps your parent become organized. It creates a secure and shareable digital document archive as well as a means to organize those end of life documents.    The site will help them compose a just-in-case letter for the survivors with info about bank accounts, insurance passwords and so on.  
  • LEGAL ZOOM – A online legal services that offers help with creating legal documents.  Here you will find a wide variety of al-la-carte services.  

If there is anything more scarier than navigating legal issues, its talking about end of life plans. However, we have found a service that makes this difficult process a little easier on families – it is called eFuneral.com.

With eFuneral.com, make end of life preparations from the comfort of your couch! Visit their website to download their FREE planning guide.

The Talk is the conversation that you need to be having with your parent to find out what are their future plans. The point we are making is getting it done does not have to be a big investment in either cost or time – when it can all be done online!

Today is a good day while you are face timing with them or on the phone with them to start having that long over due “TALK” with them. Contact At Home Senior Services if you have any other concerns about aging parent conversation tips!

At Home Senior Services would like to thank Aging Parents Management for sharing their blog with all of this wonderful information with us.