Members of the sandwich generation are often faced with the difficult task of caring for parents as their health declines. As parents age, the care they need will likely increase. This can make the future seem rather bleak for members of the sandwich generation who do not see a decrease in responsibilities anytime soon. However, as discussed in a Next Avenue article titled “6 Things Caregivers Must Do While There’s Still Time”, there are ways that caregivers can prepare for the future and hopefully make it less daunting and stressful.
- Make a list of medications as soon as possible. As parents age, they will likely have more doctors and become more confused about their medications. Making a list of medications early can prevent misdiagnosis and ensure proper communication with doctors.
- Know their wishes. Having a talk with parents about their end of life wishes is essential. Not only can this talk serve as a reminder to have an updated estate plan, it also allows the primary caregiver to be informed about parent’s wishes concerning end of life medical care or funeral arrangements.
- Update the estate plan. Making an appointment to sit down with an elder law attorney even if estate planning documents are already in place. It is critical to make sure all documents are up to date and can be accepted by financial institutions. Waiting to do this until your parents have advanced dementia may not leave you with many options.
- Know where everything is and how to access it. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and authorization to access important paperwork. Furthermore, it is a good idea to keep all important paperwork in a place where you can always find it. Organizing early can prevent stress.
- Make sure parents have enough money. Comparing income and assets to expenses is an important step to ensuring that parents to do not outlive their money. Sitting down with a financial advisor might be very beneficial.
- Look into care options. Developing a list of care institutions and options for parents is a good way to prevent a fight and added stress down the road.