According to the AARP, “Today, 30 million households are providing care for an adult over the age of 50—and that number is expected to double over the next 25 years.” Those 30 million caregivers are often still balancing their own life, their children’s lives, and sometimes even grandchildren. But, a little preparation goes a long way. So, we’ve compiled 4 things you need to do to develop a caregiving plan for your loved ones.
- Start a conversation. It’s never too late to start the conversation about a caregiving plan, but many families wait until a crisis occurs. At this point, the options may be more limited or decisions rushed due to the circumstances. So, it’s important to start the conversation sooner rather than later.
- Identify the team of resources. Family, friends, neighbors, religious organizations, and community support centers can all play a role in the caregiving process. Understand who is available and what types of support they can provide. By splitting up the responsibilities, the tasks won’t seem as overwhelming. Establish a team leader and talk through the responsibilities with all family members, including the person who will be receiving the care. Try to get everyone on the same page with the plan and manage expectations before a crisis occurs. The more members of the team you have, the easier it will be for
- Assess needs. Before you can make any sort of long-range plans, you’ll need to understand your parent’s financial situation – which can be a touchy subject. However, most insurance plans, including Medicare, pay very little towards nursing home, assisted living, or home health care costs. So, you will want to understand what insurance plans they have, what assets they have, and develop a strategy based on those factors. There are a variety of checklists developed by the AARP, that can be used to gather important information. Be sure to store it in a location that family members or others can access – perhaps utilizing an online platform like Google Drive or DropBox. Also, determine what public benefits may be available by visiting Benefits QuickLINK.
- Make the plan. After you’ve assessed your needs, it’s time to define the plan. It can be as detailed or as simplistic as desired. The plan should establish the need, the steps, the person responsible, and the timeframe. Sample Caregiving Plans can be helpful too. It may also be helpful to involve an estate planning attorney, if one has not already been involved, up to this point.
By taking steps early on to prepare a caregiving plan, you can avoid much of the stress and anxiety that often go with caring for an aging parent. If your plan involves moving your loved one to a retirement community, consider Baywoods of Annapolis. Baywoods is a full-service continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that provides residents a waterfront lifestyle for their retirement. Contact Baywoods today to schedule a tour of the community!