As people age, they may have a bigger need for health care services. However, paying for those services may be made easier with proper advance planning. One way to prepare for health care costs is to assume that these costs will be incurred at some point in the future. Some insurance policies allow individuals to use a death benefit to pay for their care while they are still alive.
Staying organized can make it easier to keep track of insurance policies or other assets that may be used to pay for care. Having all financial paperwork in a secure and easy to find location may aid family members in helping to cover the cost of an aging parent or relative’s care. Furthermore, adult parents should talk to their children about their health care wishes while they are still of sound mind.
This talk can happen at once or over a period of time as appropriate. Clearly communicating wishes to children may avoid emotional situations when they may believe that prolonging a parent’s life is their only choice. To further clarify an individual’s wishes and have them carried out, an aging individual may wish to provide powers of attorney to a potential caregiver. Failure to ask a parent to take this step is a common regret of child caregivers.
While a parent or relative may not want to talk about the subject of elder care, it may be worth having that conversation. Those who would like to create powers of attorney or other estate planning documents may wish to speak to an attorney. Doing so may make it easier for people to know that their wishes are carried out if they are unable to make those decisions for themselves.
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