Do you have aging parents living in their own home? Are they living by themselves and enjoying good health, staying active and visiting with their family? Have you or your parents given thought to a time when they may not be able to make decisions for themselves due to either an accident or illness or the need for skilled nursing care? These thoughts of the future are never easy. In fact, these conversations with your aging parents and their future may be tough. That being said, have you started to have any conversations with your aging parents about their future? Do you find it difficult? Be aware, though, it is so important that you and your family know what your aging parents want in the event of a sudden crisis or incapacity.
We encourage you, while your aging parents are healthy and able, to set aside time to begin these tough conversations. You and your aging parents could include all your family. Your aging parents need to voice their personal preferences for medical decisions and for long-term care choices. We would like to share some questions that can start these challenging conversations with your aging parents.
• Is there a person or persons your parents trust to make medical decisions on their behalf?
• Is there a person or persons your parents do not want to make decisions for them?
• If necessary, will either of your parents want feeding tubes, life support, and other artificial life-saving devices?
• Is there any type of medical care your parents would never want?
• If your parents were permanently disabled or incapacitated, what would contribute or take away from their “quality of life?”
• If it is an option, would your parents want skilled nursing home care or in-home healthcare?
• If the co-pays of your parents become excessive or insurance does not cover their treatment how will the family pay for care?
As you and your family hear the answers and choices your parents make, it is important to document their choices through an estate plan. The next step is to meet with a qualified and experienced Florida elder law attorney. He will assist and advise your aging parents in creating their estate plans. In their estate plans, each parent will have a document that will allow them to designate a healthcare decision maker who can ultimately carry out the choices he and she have made.
Do you have questions? At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.