The holidays are a time when many of us boomers spend more time with family, often leading to conversations about how to help elderly parents, who seem to be rapidly aging before our very eyes. Whether they need in-home care or a way to get to the doctor, we often struggle to find ways to help, especially if we don't live nearby. So, I've decided to share in this blog post some of the resources I have used with my own elderly parents because I've found that getting the house in order, so to speak, can be a wonderful gift, both for your parents and you!
> Thinking about paying a family member or friend to look after mom and dad? There are many ways to legally do this, including paying an hourly wage, giving a lump sum payment annually, or even arranging for the caregiver to receive a larger inheritence. Whichever route you go, it would be wise to consult an elder care attorney so you and the caregiver know exactly what the law allows. Here's a great source for finding an elder law specialist. You might also want to check out the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Just this week the WSJ ran an excellent informative article on this subject. If you have access online to the WSJ, you'll find the article here.
> Those of us who don't live near our elderly parents are often looking for an easy way to find services for them, whether it's skilled nursing, transportation to a doctor's appointment, or even just someone to check in on them. Try The Senior List. I've been watching this site grow over the past two years and find that they do a great job of keeping their resources up to date.
> With the December 31 deadline looming for Medicare recipients to choose their prescription drug option, many elderly people find themselves confused and concerned about changes in the way this works in 2011. Here's where you can find out more information and help someone figure out what's the best option for them. Of course, you can also go straight to the federal government's Medicare site.
> Maybe this is the year you intend to get your parents' paperwork in order. Once you've figured out what insurance policies and financial assets they have, here's a great way to keep up with it all online - try We Remember. This wonderful site lets you input all the policies, plans and instructions. It then connects directly to the vital records web site. Upon the death of the policyholder, the beneficiary will receive specific instructions and forms for filing claims. In other words, the site remembers for you exactly what you need to do. You may even want to put your own information in there.
> I haven't lived with my parents in 35 years, but one thing I can count on when I visit is that there will always be a copy of Reader's Digest and Guideposts on the bedside table of the guest room. My mother has read these my entire life. Now, thankfully, they come in large print editions, along with several other popular publications. Did you know you can find them on Amazon.com in a special section? So while you're visiting this season, you might check and see if your parents are missing out on favorite publications simply because the regular issues are too hard to read.
What resources do you find helpful that you'd like to share with readers?
I hope your holidays are filled with joy, the comfort of family and the love of everyone you spend time with.