Elder Law Practice of
Douglas R Jones &
Cynthia Orlicek Jones

Back-Up Plan: For Those Times That Plan #1 Falls Flat

In our last blog, we discussed Alzheimer’s Planning. When dealing with disorders such as Alzheimer’s, anything can happen. Our best-laid plans are almost guaranteed to fail. Not for lack of planning, but simply because of the “nature of the beast”. Having a Back-Up Plan (or three) is dire.

When Mom or Dad needs help, there are a lot of moving parts.  You have all of your family issues going on, as well as all of their issues.  When your parent’s health is declining rapidly, there are often more demands on your time and on all available resources. Here are a few of the top things to make decisions upon as soon as possible:

Who Will Do What and When

At first the family may try to do it all, but soon may need the involvement of outside caregivers. Part of the process is to determine whether enough family caregivers are available to provide the necessary hours to supplement Mom’s care.

Back-Up Caregivers

You can’t always be there. Life happens. You will get sick, have a business trip “you can’t get out of,” or just need a day off, which is extremely important and nothing to feel guilty about. Having a back-up caregiver, available on short notice, is critical.

Money

Remote or busy caregivers may be able to contribute money to help with the care of a declining parent. For example, home care and Assisted Living communities are typically paid with private funds. 

Family Contributions of Time, Money, or Effort

Mom or Dad may run out of money and need assistance paying for some care item or service not covered by insurance. Without a Back-Up Plan in place, care may become limited or halted altogether. In these cases, some family members would otherwise help financially may just not know how or what to contribute that would make a difference. Part of the planning process is to determine who will contribute what, and how those contributions of time, money or effort fit into the overall plan.

Fact Finding

This takes time but, as much as possible, it is crucial to have all of your “ducks in a row” before you meet. Financial, legal documents, and family preferences are all critical pieces in the decision making process. It’s important to know what type of care Mom wanted, what the family is willing or able to do; how this care will be paid and what legal documents exist. However, it is very difficult to discover all needed information prior to the Mom-Centered Family Meeting. The family should note what additional information is needed, make notes and designate a particular family member who is in charge of finding each piece of information.

Next Step

When things are moving fast, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what you need to do next. Gathering as much of the above information as possible will help you make better decisions as you strive to craft the best going-forward plan (and a couple back-up plans) possible for your declining parent.

Once you have gathered as much information as possible, give us a call! We are waiting to help you sort through the information and help you to piece it all together. Let’s work together to create a great plan (and a Back-Up Plan)!

Thank You!!!

Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!

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