PREPARATION BEATS REACTION
That is a powerful statement. It’s even more powerful when you’re living its reality. I cannot stress the importance of preparing to care for your elder. When a baby is on the way, parents prepare for the arrival. Various items are purchased to ensure the baby’s well-being. You may not be in the caregiver mode right now. If not, great because this provides you with time to PREPARE!!! If you are deep in the caregiving business, it’s not too late to take some initiative and secure these necessary legal documents.
Things to consider:
While the elder is legally competent, secure a power of attorney for healthcare, power of attorney for finances, and a living will (advance directive).
- Power of attorney (POA): This necessary document allows an individual to appoint an agent to act on their behalf when they are unable to do so. Typically, this document is necessary for business transactions.
- Health care power of attorney: Allows an individual to appoint an agent to make medical decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so. This person should be aware of the elder’s wishes (see living will).
- Living will (advance directive): States an individual’s wishes in case they are unable to communicate their choices.
A few considerations.
- You can create the legal documents independently and finalize the process with a notary and two witnesses.
- Or, find a local attorney to create all three documents.
- Everyone is not equipped to manage financial resources. Selecting a trustworthy person is necessary to ensure peace of mind.
- Likewise, some people are overwhelmed with healthcare needs and processes. Make sure the healthcare POA can manage medical situations.
- For both agents, select someone who is trustworthy and able to properly carry out the required tasks.
I realize this can be a difficult process. Discussing the necessity for such documents can cause the caregiver and elder to become uneasy. Remember, it’s better to know in advance your loved one’s wishes rather than guess when faced with a decision. Also, having these documents prepared in advance relieves a lot of anxiety for all parties.
Live. Love. Laugh