The number of adult children caring for their elderly parents is growing at a very fast pace. If you are a baby boomer and not already caring for an elderly parent, chances are high that you might be facing this situation soon. It isn’t always easy to know when, or how, to step in to ensure that your aging loved one receives the care that he or she needs. But, as an Anchorage will and trust lawyer, I’ve helped hundreds of Anchorage-area families through this stage of life and can offer tips for assisting your aging loved one.
How to know when to step in
Age alone is not an indicator of when an elderly person needs you. Some people do quite well on their own into their nineties and beyond. Others might need help much earlier. The key here is to look for warning signs. The signs might include frequent falls or unexplained bruises, an empty fridge, or even unopened mail. Frequent visits are the best way to get a clear picture of your loved one’s physical and mental health.
Develop a plan
If you think the time has come to step in and provide care for your elderly loved one, you should start by developing a plan that includes all family members. Consider allowing your elderly loved one to also participate in creating the plan. It’s best to start with small, easy changes that still allow your loved one to maintain his or her independence.
Meet with an Elder Law Attorney
To provide the best care for your elderly loved one, you need to ensure that you have the necessary legal protections in place. An elder law attorney can help your loved one create documents that will allow you, or someone of their choosing, to make decisions for them in financial and medical matters.
If you suspect that your loved one needs help, I encourage you to take these steps right away. We get a lot of calls from people who waited too long and are facing unnecessary financial and legal crises as a result. Don’t limit your options. Call our office to speak to an Anchorage will and trust lawyer at (907) 334-9200 to schedule a consultation for the peace of mind knowing that you are doing everything possible to help your loved one.