Senior Care Checklist

1. Communicate

Arrange a family meeting and talk about what the senior would like to happen if and when the time comes that they need additional care. Do they want to stay in their own home with a private Caregiver? Would they prefer to move from their home to an Assisted Living or Continuing Care Community? Do they want to move in with another family member? Healthy aging requires daily physical and mental activity and socialization – discuss how all of these will be incorporated.

2. Confirm Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney for Healthcare

Be sure the senior has designated someone for both of these duties and that the information is communicated and easy to access in an emergency.

3. Estate Plan/Living Will

Confirm this information has been created and that you know where to locate it.

4. Financial Planning

Money matters, very much, to seniors, whether they have a whole lot of it or just a little. Discuss any concerns they may have about their finances. Regardless of their net-worth, having a plan in place will make them feel secure. If they have limited financial resources, check with your local Department on Aging to make sure they are taking advantage of as many discount programs and community services as possible.

5. Insurance

Organize their insurance information. Find out if they have purchased additional policies to accompany their basic Medicare policy. Find out if they have purchased Long-term Care Insurance and if so, find out what their coverage includes and what documents will be necessary to file a claim.

6. Medications

Review their prescribed medications and discuss their system for taking them at regular daily times. Pill boxes are a great way to monitor consistency of taking medications if memory loss is suspected. If refills are a challenge, find a pharmacy which delivers.

7. Medical Doctors

Make sure the senior is going to a doctor who specializes in geriatric care for an annual check-up. It is important that all aspects of aging are monitored, including vision, hearing, and even mental conditions, such as depression. Remember that the progression of many conditions, such as memory loss and macular degeneration, can be greatly slowed if they are caught early. This is why it is beneficial to find a doctor who will take the time to do a complete evaluation.

8. You

If you are the primary Caregiver, make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself. Caregiving can be exhausting. Ask for help from friends and family members or hire a private Caregiver to allow yourself the opportunity to spend quality time with the care recipient. Find a support group or become involved in one of the associations for age related diseases, which offer both training and support (Those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease might want to join one of the associations or foundations which are associated with both diseases to take advantage of the educational and support programs they offer).