Mission Critical

mission-critical_angledI recently attended a luncheon where they discussed the importance of having a plan in place for a disruptive event.  They were referring to a disruptive event in a company’s computer processing and systems, however; it occurred to me that this was applicable to caregiving as well.

Most of us become caregivers due to a disruptive event occurs such as a fall, serious illness or live-altering diagnosis.  However; unlike companies, not only do most of us not have a plan in place for this type of event, we haven’t even thought about what potential challenges we can face when caring for our aging parents until after the event has occurred.

Here are some modified take-a-ways:

  • Evaluate the Risk – examine potential threats that could exploit vulnerabilities.
    • Questions to ponder:
      • If one of my parents needed 24 hour care would the other one be able to sustain their current lifestyle physically and financially?
      • How much does care cost and what can we do pro-actively to create options to pay for future care?
      • What documents are currently in place (i.e. health and financial powers of attorney forms) and how current is the information in those documents?
      • What options are available to care for my loved ones as they need increased levels of care (i.e. home health, retirement and assisted living communities, skilled nursing care)?
      • Create a plan – discuss these questions with your loved ones and then WRITE DOWN the answers and share the plan with all family members so that everyone understands the plan (remember understanding and agreeing are two different things – if your parents create the plan then out of respect for them, everyone needs to agree to follow it – see What If? for more ideas on how to create the plan)
        • Check the plan periodically for loop-holes and update as needed (reviewing annually is a good idea)

Being pro-active can empower those you love to take control of potential future care need and decrease the tension and stress on the family when an event occurs.

For more resources visit AlongComesGrandpa.com

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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