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Looking at Long-Term Care for Your Aging Parent? Consider These Three Factors as Their Power of Attorney

Posted on: January 13, 2021

Looking at Long-Term Care for Your Aging Parent? Consider These Three Factors as Their Power of Attorney
As our parents get older, one of the most important familial responsibilities we have to consider is elderly care. While we all hope to live a life without extra assistance, health problems often arise in old age and when they do, you want to be prepared.
The first and most important step to take to ensure your parents are cared for in their senior years is making sure they have selected a power of attorney. We’ve previously discussed the importance of a POA, but what do you do now that you’ve been appointed and need to consider long-term care for your loved ones?
Planning for long-term care can be complicated and while these may not be easy conversations to have with your family, they are extremely important.
The first factor to consider is the cost of different care options. Caring for your aging parents can be expensive, so it’s important to sit down with them and do a thorough cost-analysis of what care options they are interested in, what care options are necessary and what they can afford.
As their power of attorney, you may be responsible for their financial future, so it’s important that you understand what they want in order to carry out their wishes to the best of your ability. 
It’s also vital to consult your loved ones financial plan. If they have a Wealth Investment Advisor, this is an important financial decision they should be consulted on regularly as time goes on.
If you are financially assisting your loved ones, it’s time to take a look at your own financial plan and seek professional counsel on the impact this will have on your funds and what government assistance options are available to your parents to help lighten the cost.
Health Needs
As their power of attorney, you have a caregiving responsibility to address your loved ones health needs. It’s important to have a frank conversation with your aging parent about the reality of caregiving and the measures that need to be taken depending on their condition. While they might not enjoy discussing their declining health, this conversation is a must in order to plan for their future.
If their declining health means they can no longer live at home, there are many care-centre options to look into: nursing homes; assisted living centres; senior independent living communities; residential care homes; and specialized facilities like memory care homes.
Home Care
Home care is one of the most desirable options for most seniors as they can enjoy the comfort of staying in their own home or moving into yours. One of the first steps for successful homecare is retro-fitting the home and making it barrier-free to accommodate your loved ones physical disabilities or restrictions. This could mean moving their bedroom to the first floor, adding a ramp up the front steps and a grab bar in the bathroom. Some houses are easier to retrofit than others and depending on the physical condition of your loved one, the cost can vary.
Depending on their physical capabilities, you may want to consider at-home care assistance. While this can be a costly option, for some it is preferable to give their parent privacy, a feeling of autonomy and comfort.
Having these conversations and making these decisions can be financially taxing and emotionally strenuous. At the Bongard Wealth Advisory Group we understand the importance of caring for your loved ones. Consulting with your financial planner can help ease some of the stress of these decisions and ensure your family is looked after.