Do you know how to plan ahead to provide care for your aging parents? Many parents as they reach their retirement years struggle to pass responsibility for these decisions on to their children, but the reality is that the sooner these matters are discussed, the easier the transition will be into the retirement years.

When it comes time to look for care for our aging parents, planning the transition can be incredibly overwhelming. From dealing with the move itself, to the stress on your parents, and even the stress on yourself – moving to an elder care facility is no small feat.

Keep an Open Communication

One way to alleviate stress on everyone – you, your parents, the care facility, and any other family members – is to keep the lines of communication wide open. Everyone should have a chance to be heard and air their concerns, and said concerns should be discussed and dealt with. Remember, the health care facility your parents will be living in is there to help you during this transition.

There are several things that the home should be made aware of prior to the transition. These things include:

• Family history, including any potential conflicts that may arise, or situations that the home should be made aware of.
• Patient preferences. This may include anything that the patient is very passionate about, including religious matters. This can help the home ensure they are respectful toward the patient.
• Emergency Contacts – who is responsible for what aspect of care and emergency response.
• Doctor and health history and information, including medications and allergies.
• Finances – all accounts should be spoken for, contacts should be in order, and accounts should be consolidated and simplified where possible.
• Insurance – prepare a list of all policies and contact information, review all policies to ensure they are adequate and up-to-date.
• Establish what items should be brought to the home, and which may be better stored away. The care home can help with deciding this.
• Legal Documents – make sure they have a will in place, and power of attorney for health decisions, finances, and life-prolonging care.
• Living Arrangements – determine what kind of living situation is suitable, arrange for any modifications to their home, and determine whether there are contingencies in place.

It is important to plan ahead by visiting all potential care homes. If this has not been decided yet, plan a visit and speak with the staff on hand. Make note of how the staff speak with those in their care, and how well the place is kept up.

We know that the transition into senior care can be a difficult time. Your chosen seniors care facility is there for you and your family to help you to transition into the new routine.