Preparing for the loss of an elderly relative is almost impossible. You may know it is coming, but often the thought of life without them is so painful we procrastinate planning for the inevitable. However, putting off certain tasks can add frustration and confusion to an already difficult time. Although it’s never easy, Denver, CO, home care experts recommend taking the following steps to prepare for the loss of a loved one.
Know Their Wishes
While your loved one is still able, it is important to discuss his or her wishes for end-of-life care. For instance, do they wish to sign a DNR waiver? Do they have a living will that details life support measures? Though painful, it is also helpful to know their thoughts on burial or cremation and to find out if any arrangements have already been made.
Establish Who the Decision Maker Will Be
While the final decisions are generally left to the surviving spouse, if the spouse is unable to handle this responsibility or the deceased is unmarried or widowed, authority is left to children or caregivers. This can cause conflict if there are multiple children involved or if there is a disagreement between family members as to what the best course of action may be. Designating a primary decision maker is an easier task while your loved one is still here to provide consent and establish a power of attorney.
Ask Any Lingering Questions
Your loved one has lived a long life and has a wealth of rich history to share. Setting up a video recorder and ‘interviewing’ him or her will help you discover stories from their childhood or past they may have never before shared. These stories are part of who your loved one is, and capturing these stories is a wonderful way for your loved one to leave a legacy for future generations.
Collect All Necessary Paperwork
From birth certificates to insurance information and military paperwork, once a loved one passes, there is a lot more information needed than you may anticipate. Some documents to gather include bank account information, insurance policies, pension accounts, 401K savings, and more. If a power of attorney is in place, it is much easier to access this paperwork, but keep in mind, a power of attorney is only valid while your loved one is living.
It’s never easy preparing for a loved one’s passing, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Home Care Assistance of Denver, we offer a wide range of home care services to help offset some of the challenges families face during this time. Our hourly and live-in caregivers can help with everything from grocery shopping and cleaning to personal grooming and medication reminders, allowing family members to focus on providing a loving and supportive environment for their relative. To learn more, call a dedicated Care Manager at (720) 443-3371.