As Americans live increasingly longer, many require ongoing, long-term care. This care often falls to grown children—men and women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who are busy with careers or perhaps children of their own. Getting caught in this caregiving “sandwich”— growing children on one side, aging parents on the other—can be an emotional and financial burden, especially if you don’t know where to begin or how to get help.
If you are caring for an elderly relative, or soon will be, consider an eldercare law specialist to navigate the legal and financial matters. “ShowCase Magazine” met with eldercare law professional Janet Moody of Olympia to share her expertise on the topic.
What is eldercare law?
Simply put, eldercare law addresses the legal needs of the elderly. Elder law professionals specialize in retirement benefits, estate planning, health care and related issues. Our entire focus is on helping seniors and families. We end up undoing a lot of documents that are not prepared properly.
When should we have it in place?
Unfortunately, most people wait for a crisis, when they are experiencing health decline. Why not prepare now while you are healthy and have the time? Executing these documents is an act of protection for you and your loved ones.
What is life care planning?
I became really frustrated when we were working in a traditional eldercare platform. It did not meet the full needs of our client families. Life care planning is a new model of practice. It adds care management and long-term care planning to eldercare law practice. It is a more proactive approach to the eldercare law guardianship work.
What if Mom or Dad is not ready to have the conversation?
Tell your parents that you want to prevent crisis and execute their wishes—to think beyond the moment. If you are hit by a bus, who will pay your bills and who will take care of your health care? We are all about empowering people, and it takes documents to do that. The bottom line is that a power of attorney is really the most important piece of documentation since it allows people to choose whom they want to execute their wishes.
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