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Planning for Parents and for Us!

In life, everybody should be planning not to fail. I mean, who in their right mind who would plan to fail? That would be crazy, right?

Yes we are all very busy! We have our demanding jobs, professions or businesses that require a ton of time. We have our families with their dozens of activities – grandchildren’s ballgames, dance recitals and school plays. Obviously we want to be with our family and spend as much time with them as possible.

So what do we do when our beloved parent starts to decline in physical or cognitive health. How do we prioritize the tasks that we perform for them or on their behalf to ensure that they get the best quality of care while (at the same time) maintaining our quality of life?

3 Time Topic Areas

Here are 3 Big Time Topic areas that we see Family Caregivers struggling with on a daily basis. These areas need to be addressed when we are planning not to fail.

Time to Pick the Right Combination of Caregivers

Initially the family does everything necessary. After all, they loved their declining Mom and Dad and want to help. The parents also want the kids as opposed to outside caregivers. However the constraints of time and availability demand that the family soon craft a plan to incorporate third-party caregivers into the mix to help reduce Family Caregiver burnout while ensuring that the parent continues to get the best quality of care at home. Most families tell me that they wish they had brought in assistance sooner rather than later – seeking help with the “heavy lifting” allows the family to do what they do best – love their parents!

Time to Pick the Best Place to Be

There are two common mistakes that we see when families are selecting the best place to be: (1) Hastily assuming that a facility level of care is required when a plan could have been crafted to keep the declining parent home longer. We naturally assume that home is the best place to be. If the parents want to remain at home and the family is willing to be creative enough to craft a plan to make that happen – it usually can happen. As a result, the declining parent can stay at home much longer. Planning not to fail, as you can see, requires preemptive planning!

Conversely, (2), when a parent starts to decline in health substantially, they may need a more advanced level of care that can only be provided in a facility setting. When this point is reached, continuing to stay at home may no longer be advantageous to the parent’s health or the family’s well being. When this point is reached, consult closely with medical professionals.

Time to Determine How to Pay for Care

  1. Without depriving our Loved One of the care needed. Providing care for declining parent is expensive. However payment sources should not always be the primary criteria to be concerned with when selecting the appropriate level of care. The best approach in many cases is to first consult with medical professionals to determine the most appropriate level of care for the parent. Then, consult with legal and financial professionals to ascertain the best way to pay for this care.
  2. Without going broke. Unfortunately many families begin paying for care without first crafting a Sustainability Plan. As a result of this planning, parents sometimes run out of money before they run out of life. It is necessary to craft a plan for the long haul to ensure that the parents have the appropriate level of care for the remainder of their life. Often this requires a combination of effective utilization of parents assets, family assistance and government assistance.
  3. Without making the spouse at home destitute. Especially in cases where the declining spouse has to receive skilled nursing care, we see families paying for their care privately out of pocket until all of the money is gone. This is especially dangerous where there is a well spouse at home who needs that money to help provide for their own care. Proper planning can protect many assets for the one at home.

We wish you the best as you take the time to help your declining parents plan to achieve the best quality of care in their own life while maintaining balance in your life!

We’re Planning Not to Fail YOU!

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