It is often difficult to think about a time when your parents can no longer care for themselves in a way that keeps them healthy, especially when they gave so much time and love to raise you. The National Institute on Aging notes that many older individuals fail to create a medical plan that will assist their loved ones if they should become infirm, which can have a serious impact on the family finances.
Urging your parents to create a long-term medical care plan can lower the risk of financial issues caused by medical emergencies, and practicing a few simple tips may make this process simpler for everyone.
1. Pose some possible scenarios
Your parents may not understand the actual implications of what might go wrong if he or she handles the money in the home and becomes unable to communicate because of an unexpected medical emergency. For example, who will make decisions concerning future care, and what if no one in the family realizes his or her wishes regarding that care? A long-term medical plan can prevent such confusion, especially during a time of great emotion.
2. Talk about finances
When a medical emergency occurs and your parents do not have medical care in place, this can seriously disrupt their finances. Many seniors live on a fixed income already and you can remind your mother or father of this fact and what might happen to the condition of their estate if you or other family members must scramble to put a plan in place, as doing so can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
3. Create an open forum
Remember to encourage conversation and questions when discussing this issue with your aging parents. This may reduce feelings of anger and defensiveness for everyone involved.
Creating a medical care directive is not as difficult as you may think. Speaking with your parents’ doctor and lawyer during the process can help you feel more confident as you build this document.