No One Told Me to Plan for This!
We seem to plan for major events all through our lives… where we want to go to college, when we want to marry, how many children to have, where they should go to school, saving for retirement before we are 80 (hopefully!) but no one tells us we need to plan for the day mom and dad need us to take care of them!
These days, with many of us living in to our 80s, 90s and beyond, we often find ourselves having to unexpectedly take care of mom and dad just when we thought we would be able to have some freedom. The kids are hopefully out of the house (or at least can drive and feed themselves!) and we can see the retirement light at the end of the tunnel but then a crisis strikes. Mom or dad has a stroke or other major medical issue and we are not sure what to insurance do they have, who is supposed to be making the major financial and medical decisions if they can’t, where is the number for the dog walker?! You have it all together in the other aspects of your life and you can in be in caring for mom and dad as well. It is imperative that you become as proactive in organizing your parents information as you can. Trying to find important information is time consuming, confusing and enormously stressful if you are trying to find this information in a crisis!
So before this crisis happens, start gathering the information you need and put it all in one place so you know exactly where it is when the crisis occurs. This simple step gives you one less thing to worry about. You also need to make sure more than 1 person knows where this information is in case you are not available at the exact moment it is needed. If you aren’t sure where to start, hiring a professional, such as a Geriatric Care Manager, can save you a great deal of time and worry. A GCM will know what information you need and the best way to organize it. They can also provide you with educational information and resources for elder care that you wouldn’t think of or know where to find.
If you wait until the crisis occurs, your stress will go up exponentially and your choices will be limited. If you are proactive in your approach, you will still have the stress of the crisis but won’t have to worry about the will be able to implement YOUR plan rather than take what you can get and hope for the best.
Don’t wait for a crisis! Start organizing today!