Tracy and Eric talk about caring for your parents, getting the financial and health matters in order, and the delicate dance to power of attorney. Hear of our experiences in trying the DIY route of power of attorney, and why you do need a lawyer to help you navigate managing your parents. There's more to it than you may think.
Our experience suggests the best route is to use a lawyer who has experience in elder care. The paperwork varies state to state as to what you have to have. Also, you have to file some of these papers, and provide them to health care providers. This is a long process, so its best to start the conversation early, and proceed in small steps. Its best if several siblings can share the tasks involved, and it may be that one sibling is better at some parts than others.
Another thing to start planning is to reduce the amount of stuff your parents have. They may cling to items they think have value, and it can be daunting. We were lucky to move out parents into a home that has only one level which has wide doorways, start thinking about this now for yourself too.
Establishing a relationship with the branch managers of your parent's bank is good as well. You can give them a copy of the power of attorney and if they notice any unusual behavior, they can call you.
AARP has some resources for planning for caring for your parents, plus there are local social service agencies that can help with this.
So again, start the process sooner rather than later, and go slowly. Parents are averse to big changes, so small steps work better.