What You Need To Know About Your ParentsPosted by in Aging | Caregivers | FAQ's | Health | Home Health Care | Long Term Care Insurance | Medicare | Retirement | Uncategorized
Boca Home Care Services believes in having a plan ready in case of an emergency. A big part of that plan is information about your elderly loved one. Ask your senior family member who they would contact in an emergency. Then that person can begin the dialogue about having some of the basic information needed to proceed to help effectively.
Working with adult sons and daughters whose parent’s are released from the hospital or rehab center and need help at home usually brings to light the gaps in information they have about their elderly parents. Usually they live out of state but do have Power of Attorney, which is a very good start. If you your mother, father or loved one is over the age of 75 years old, there are a few basic things you ought to know. If you don’t have a durable, limited Power of Attorney (POA), speak with your parent about it and get one. It will make your life a lot easier should you, likely in a medical emergency need to access information from the Doctor, Hospital, Insurance Company, Bank and so forth — HIPPA Privacy Laws can make it hard to get even basic medical information about your parent.
Once you have the POA document- fax it to the primary physician, any specialist, the Secondary insurer, as well as the Long Term Care Insurer – if they have Long Term Care Insurance.
Here is a short list of information you ought to have about your parent, it is likely very similar to the one you have for your son or daughter:
1. Who is their PCP – Primary Care Physician, or Internist.
2. Who is their Cardiologist, Oncologist, Surgeon — as necessary.
3. What are your parent’s primary illnesses/diagnoses – if any?
4. Have some idea what regular medications they take – name, dose, purpose – and which pharmacy they use.
5. Who is their beast friend? Phone number?
6. Do they have Medicare or an HMO? What is their Medicare Number? Social Security Number – at least the last 4 digits. Date of Birth?
7. Who is their Long Term Care Insurance Carrier? What is the policy number?
8. Call the LTC insurer, (after sending your POA to them) and find out a few things about the policy: Is there an Elimination or Wait Period before care is covered? What is the Daily Benefit?
9. Should your parent be driving?
10. Do they need or would they benefit from minimal in-home assistance for safety, nutrition, social contact, or cognitive reasons?
11. Where do they bank? Keep important papers?
12. What are their end of life decisions for themselves? Are they in a legal document; a Medical Directive, Living Will or the Five Wishes? Who is their Medical Surrogate.
Having this information and updating it will make things go a lot easier in a crisis situation or should your loved one need assistance for any reason. Some parents are likely to be more forthcoming about certain things than others, so be patient or crafty. You can break the list up over time and subject matter – medical or financial. Explain your thinking to your parent about why you feel having this information is important – to save time and money if nothing else.
Be willing to exchange some of your information with them too. Emergencies can happen to any one of us, so it isn’t just a strategy of one sided planning.
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