Whenever the holidays roll around, it is usually a time of great joy: people go out of their way to help each other, peace and generosity abound and families are reunited. If you have elderly parents, it is also a great time for you to assess their living situation, physical capabilities and mental faculties.
Have they prepared the appropriate legal documents?
It can be scary to face your parents’ mortality but it is coming regardless of your feelings on the matter. Therefore, make sure that your parents have prepared the appropriate legal documents. Do they have a durable financial power of attorney in place? Do they have advance directives in place, detailing what types of procedures they do or do not want to undergo as well as who would make medical decisions for them if they are incapable of doing so?
Do they have plans for if/when they need assistance?
The older we get, the more imperative it is that we have plans in place regarding nursing homes, assisted-living or home healthcare. The costs associated with such care are enormous, so it behooves both you and your parents to think about this early on.
What medicines are they taking and who provides them with health care?
As we age, we usually end up taking a variety of prescription and nonprescription drugs to combat the effects of age-related illnesses. It is essential that you have a list of the different prescriptions your parents are taking, as well as a list of any over-the-counter drugs that they may be taking in the event of an emergency.