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Preparing For Elder Care Needs

In the midst of a typical Monday morning rush to get to work on time, the phone rings – and the news stops you in your tracks. It’s Dad, explaining that Mom has had a fall and is in the ER. And, he needs you to come over immediately…even though you're hours away.

When a crisis causes life to suddenly spiral out of control, it helps to have a plan already in place and at the ready when considering how elderly moms and dads are going to cope with sudden illness or injury. There are some things you can do now, before an emergency situation arises with elderly parents, to prepare for both long-term care and emergency situations like a sudden fall or heart attack.

If you are part of the "Sandwich Generation," those who still have kids at home but also have elderly parents to look after, here are a few suggestions of things you will need to either have in a safe spot or at least be aware of where your parents keep such items, especially if one parent has dementia or early stages of Alzheimers:

  • Birth certificatse/adoption records for your parents

  • Their marriage certificate/s

  • Divorce decrees

  • Death certificates

  • Military discharge papers, if either one is a veteran

  • Advance directives (their primary care physician, their hospital, and you should have copies of them)

  • Retirement and pension policies, including the names of any beneficiaries

  • Insurance policies (Life and/or Long Term Care)

  • Bank account information and location of their primary bank

Also, it’s important to gather and review pertinent information with the parents while they're healthy, such as:

  • Doctors’ names, addresses and phone numbers

  • Prescription and non-prescription medications taken

  • Social Security numbers, medical record numbers and military ID numbers

  • Informal support resource names, addresses and phone numbers

A little pre-planning can go a long way towards alleviating the stress of suddenly trying to find care for a recuperating or injured parent, even if the other parent is still healthy and of sound mind. Home care companies like ours can help provide information for the planning process. And should hands-on personal care be needed, staying at home with the help our caregivers can provide is often preferred by the senior parent rather than being placed in a nursing home while recuperating. For more information, contact us Toll Free at 866-464-2344 or locally at 208-777-0308 (Post Falls/Coeur d'Alene) or 208-263-7889 (Sandpoint).

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