Caring for your aging parents is not something you have to do alone—there are many resources out there to help you. In the third part of this three-part series on helping your aging parents, we’ll cover the resources you can turn to.
(Just joining us? Part 1 explores the warning signs to look for and how to talk to your parents about getting help. Part 2 goes over the financial and legal documents you’ll need.)
- Figuring out whether your parent should move in with you, stay at home with hired help or move into a facility isn’t an easy decision. Costs differ greatly depending on your location and the option you choose. There are many organizations that can help you weigh your options, including your local Area Agency on Aging. To find a local chapter one near you, visit www.n4a.org.
- Another option is to hire a professional geriatric care manager. They are very knowledgeable about issues related to aging and the resources available in your community—social workers, nurses, psychologists, elder law attorneys, advocates, and other elder care professionals who may be of assistance to you. A care manager can help you pick a home nurse or suggest ways to make a house safer, or can help you select a nursing home, assisted-living residence or short-term medical facility. Care managers also act as a liaison between you and your parents, especially if you live far away.
- If your parent’s main issue is needing help managing personal monetary affairs, a money manager may be a good resource. A money manager can help with organizing and keeping track of financial and medical insurance papers, assisting with check writing and maintaining bank accounts. The American Association of Daily Money Managers can help you find someone in your parent’s area: www.aadmm.com.
- Moving a parent from a home they have lived in for 30 years can be overwhelming for everyone. A professional senior mover can help with this task and will have a lot of experience working with older people who don’t want to leave their homes. The National Association of Senior Move Managers is a great resource: www.nasmm.org.
- If you want to know if your parents are eligible for financial assistance programs, AARP has a quick web app that can help you determine what programs and services are available to your parents: AARP Benefits QuickLink.
- To find geriatric care managers, the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers can help: www.caremanager.org.
- If your parent is incapacitated, Certified Professional Guardians can take over management of property, finances and their personal care for them. To find a Certified Professional Guardian in your area, go to www.guardianship.org.
- If you need an attorney that specializes in elder law, you can find one through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys: www.naela.org.
- To find state and local resources as well as checklists to use when hiring health workers or shopping for care facilities, go to www.eldercare.gov.
At Johnson Bixby & Associates, we have worked with many of the resource people in the above fields and would be glad to give you any help and referrals you might need for your parents. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.