What To Do After Your FirstLong Term Care Conversation
The initial conversation is just the starting point to planning and making major decisions.
Overcoming the fear of discussing worst case scenarios and finally having your first conversation about long term care can be liberating. The simple act of openly and honestly talking with your loved ones can take a tremendous weight of your shoulders. So, what happens next? Here are some suggestions for this ongoing discussion:
Continue to check in and be open to change.
You’ll want to act on the major decisions that you and your loved ones have agreed upon. Below are a few tips for next steps:
Legal Topics: Check to see if you and your loved one(s) have the necessary legal documents in place, including an updated will that reflects any recent decisions, power of attorney appointments, and a living will. Some of these documents may be further broken down into the following:
Durable Power of Attorney: This document lets a designated person become the authority figure to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to make or communicate your own decisions.
Power of Attorney for Health Care: This document lets a designated person make decisions regarding your health if you are no longer able to make or communicate your own decisions.
Living Will: This document will outline your wishes for end-of-life medical care. You will also want to know where these documents are kept to prepare for a major life event.
Meet Doctors: Get to know the primary doctors and physicians taking care of your loved one(s); this will help you get familiarized with their health history and important medical information.
Health Insurance: Research your loved one’s current health insurance provider, and become familiar with the policies are in place. Make sure you know how to contact them and have a copy of your loved one’s policy information handy, in case there’s an event that requires it.
Financial Advisors and Wealth Managers: Get to know the people that are helping manage your loved one(s) finances and retirement fund. Ask what financial resources are available and if they are currently being utilized in the best manner. Financial advisors, wealth managers, and accountants can help assess the situation and provide objective feedback.
Continue the Conversation: As your loved ones get older, their priorities and lifestyles may change. You’ll want to have an open door and continue the conversation to reflect their wishes as they evolve. As a family, make an effort to involve spouses/partners, children, siblings, and even friends to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Now that you’ve started this conversation, you can use future conversations to get to know your loved ones even better. It’s a great chance to learn more about their past, as well as their hopes for the future, making for a deeper and more rewarding relationship for all.
Next Steps: Plan for Long Term Care