Defining the Challenges
"I'm not ready for this Journey.
I thought my parents had a plan for this stage in their life."
Do not assume that your parents have planned out their future care!
Get an Understanding the challenges that will be ahead of you on the Journey with an Aging Parent or Loved one.
Do you have realistic expectations?
My parent/loved one is coming home, I don't need any help.
Unrealistic. We feel an obligation to accept the responsiblity as the caregiver for our parents but we're just not prepared for it. Statistics show that patients return home to untrained care providers. No matter how many flyers the discharge nurse hands you, it will not prepare you for that first night home, bathing and bathroom issues, maneuvering challenges, etc. This is all very real! Having a home care aide with you the first couple of days and nights especially is invaluable. Don't penny pinch. You may have out of pocket expenses but the peace of mind and help they provide is worth it.
I think my sibling(s) should have to pay for some of these care expenses?
Unrealistic. When you assume the role as the Caregiver or Care Manager for a loved one, the family dynamic is going to change. Our advice is get over it now. Families should want to come together to help their parents, however strange things happen when conversations about collaborating on care expenses come up. Try to have a conversation with your siblings to find out where they stand on this and then move on. The ideal scenario is to have all of this worked out as a family early on which is one of the goals of this website - to help you prepare for this stage. However, here you are now dealing with the costs of your parent's care. You own this role- now run with it.
You will love the first/helper aide assigned to your loved one.
Un-realistic. The Home Care Agency may have to assign several different aides before finding the right fit for your parent. Be patient and give it some time before you dismiss someone. It takes time to create bond.
Once I hire a Helper Agency, I can check out.
Unrealistic. Just as it is important for your loved one to bond with their home care aide – so should you. Develop a relationship with them by defining expectations and listening to their feedback about changes in your parent’s status. You must remain connected to this process, even if you do not need to be there in person.
I expect the home care agency to do tasks for both of my parents.
Unrealistic. Unless that is what is agreed upon by the Agency, the Home Care Aide will only be caring for one of your parents - "the patient." When working with a homecare agency, they refer to your loved one as “the Patient” and they are being hired to provide "patient care services'. The Home Care Aide will be assigned to only one "patient" and will not perform common duties when their are two parents in the household, ie. medication reminders, laundry, or meal prep. If this is your need, then look at hiring a private care person. This becomes especially complex if you are trying to pay for services using Long-Term Care Insurance.
With Long Term Care insurance (LTC), my parents can hire whoever they want.
Realistic-ish. They can hire whoever the want but there are guidelines to the policy that must be followed. There will be an allowance on the hourly rate and a limit on the number of hours an aide may work per week. The agency will need to be informed in advance that a LTC plan is in place and they will have to agree to working within the terms of the policy. Not all agencies accept LTC insurance but if they do, then they will coordinate the reporting and payments directly with the insurance agency. Note: If you have two parents on a LTC policy, read the fine print and talk to the agency on how this will work with them. Do not assume!
I'll find this information on another website.
Unrealistic. The Aging Parents Management is unlike any other website. It was designed because information was so hard to find. Now, the resources, tools and support to help you as the Caregiver for your aging parent or loved one are all in one place - Easier for you to find!
My Parent/Love one does not need a Will!
Unrealistic! Everyone who has anything needs a Will. Just because you are their son or daughter does not give you automatic rights to your parents stuff when they die.
My Parent has a POA so they do not need a Will!
Unrealistic! A POA and a Will are not interchangeable. A POA makes you the authorized legal representative while the person is alive. The POA then expires and is no longer vailid when that person passes away. The Executor/Executrix become the authorized legal representative but it is not automatic. You must request this from the County Register of Wills where the person resided. It is a process just like anything thing else.
Did You Know?
"We didn't then, but we do now."
There is so much involved in managing the care of a loved one that we are not being told about.
Lets dispel the myths about all of this.
Did you know? There are other options than to renovating your parents home. A Stairclimber chair may be the best solution; plus it may covered by Medicare.
Did you know that wheel chairs are covered under Medicaid/Medicare? Under their medicare, individuals may receive a new transport device once every five years. A transport device is: a wheel chair, a power wheel chair, a walker or a cane. This is a benefit to which your parent may be entitled. Consult with their primary healthcare provider for a script.
Did you know? When making purchases of mobility devices using Medicare/ durable medicare insurance, usually only ONE mobility device is covered per 5 year period. A walker, cane, wheel chair, and scooter are all in the same class. Hospitals and Rehab facilities offer canes and walkers that are paid for by insurances. It makes better sense to just pay the out of pocket cost for the walker or cane and use the insurance to cover the cost of a wheel chair or scooter that range in the thousands of dollars!
Do you consider just having your name on parent's bank account as an Estate Plan? Simply having your name on a bank account, will only give you the ability to manage and access it; while your parent is living. Once they have passed away, it becomes part of the Estate which then goes into probate and only the Executor will have access to it.
Did you know POAs expire? There is an unwritten law and unspoken understanding within the finance world that a Power Of Attorney must remain current. What defines current? This may be a good time to visit with an Estate Planning attorney about it.
Are you considering putting your Parent's home in your name? There may be laws in your state that you may want to be aware for when the time comes to determine their eligibility for medicare and medicaid benefits upon entering an assisted care facility.
Do you know where your loved one has all of their important documents? Today is the day to ask them. Knowing where your parents store these legal documents will enable you to be better prepared for that day when something does happen to them.
Did you know that your loved one may qualify for discounts? Check with the Department of the Area on Aging learn about discounts on transportation services and other care services.