A family is a complicated system before a member of that family needs care – before a family begins spending savings and investments –  before decisions need to be made regarding health care needs.  Trying to make important health care decisions when the family is in crisis is not easy.  It can be done with the guidance of a care management professional, but it’s best to think of care planning before the need for care becomes a crisis. If you are aging or have a serious chronic health diagnosis, begin to think ahead – Who would you appoint as your health care proxy to make decisions for your care if you were incapacitated? Who would you trust as the executor of your estate? Have you made your wishes known to your children, spouse, doctors and minister? Do you have a written Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy naming the individual you wish to make decisions for you? Do you have a Will providing guidance in the distribution of your assets? As a geriatric care consultant, I often receive a call at the time of a medical crisis.  The individual may be in the hospital after a severe stroke, aRead More

When you find that you need to participate in the care planning of a parent or family member, it will help you to know what documents are needed before you meet with the care consultant or any professional helping you plan for care.  If you are planning for Medicaid Spend Down, information on a trust and all financial, life insurance and real estate information will be needed. LEGAL DOCUMENTS Power of Attorneys Wills Living Wills Trusts FINANCIAL INFORMATION: Bank statements, at least 2 months previous Statements from savings, annuities, IRA, 401K and all other investments Real estate values/mortgage statements Income sources and the amounts Life insurance policies (if whole life value) MEDICAL INFORMATION List of all physicians with their contact information and specialty Most recent list of medications Brief history (with dates if possible in years) of major medical events Health insurance policies Long term care insurance policy HELPFUL INFORMATION – It is also helpful to take a copy of all immediate family members and their contact information. Most people find themselves trying to learn about long term care planning after a health care crisis.  That is not the ideal time to determine what documents exist, where they are and what plansRead More