Most of us have relatives who are reaching their golden years. We often start wondering if they need more than the occasional helping hand. Sometimes senior citizens refuse to ask for help as the thirst for independence wins over a growing frailty. If you have any family members approaching senior citizen status, you may need the following tips on how to help your aging loved ones.
This is the time to pay attention to any inconsistencies, any behavior that’s out of the ordinary. Is your mom letting the mail pile up because she can’t walk to the mail box? Did you notice that her refrigerator was empty or full of moldy food the last time you visited?
You can provide a great sense of relief and security by calling frequently and handling needs as they pop up. Other than the knowledge you’re doing great things for a loved family member, you will also be aware of when your loved one needs a higher level of assistance than can be given at home.
Families seem to develop communication habits. While some family members communicate frequently, others are satisfied with occasional contact. With senior citizens, it’s critical to stay in touch. You don’t need any kind of formal schedule for communications. Just touch base as much as possible and make sure your family member has a way to keep in touch also. If you live too far away to visit frequently, maybe a trusted friend or neighbor can keep a watchful eye on things for you, and update you every so often.
Long-term Care Planning.
It’s possible loved ones don’t know how to plan for long-term care, including at-home care or moving to a nursing home. Reassure your family that there are ways to plan for possible incapacity.
The thing to remember is that planning for long-term care starts well before incapacity hits.
For example, long-term care insurance may be purchased, but this must be done long before incapacity strikes. Visiting with an elder law attorney may help your elderly loved ones realize the benefits of signing a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. If Medicaid may be needed to pay for long-term care, it’s imperative to start planning now.
Respect is important.
But so is safety. If you find your aging loved ones may need more assistance than you can offer, a qualified elder law attorney can offer suggestions. You may want to get a free copy of our guide, “Hope for Caregivers: ABC’s of Long-Term Care and Legal Planning.”
Schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Adams Miller, LLP. We have worked with others who are in the same boat as you. Just give us a call at 256-251-2137 or use our Contact Form to set up an appointment. Serving clients in the greater Anniston and Birmingham areas.