Senior Impact

A Caregiver's Checklist for Planning Ahead

People over the age of 85 are the fastest growing segment of our population. Well over half of the US adult population either is or expects to be a family caregiver. Planning ahead for the possibility of caregiving, making decisions ahead of time, locating resources, and having open discussions with family members can help alleviate potential problems. Listed below are a few things to carefully consider when getting affairs in order before a disaster or medical emergency arises.

General Questions
  • Who will be the primary caregiver?
  • How will other family members be involved?
  • Which responsibilities can be shared? How?
Financial and Legal questions
  • Do you know the bank accounts, account numbers, and types of accounts of your loved one?
  • Do you know what assets your loved one has, their value and locations?
  • Where are deeds and titles to all property?
  • Do you know all insurance information? Company name(s), policy number(s), beneficiary as stated on the policies and the type of insurance owned? (health, life, long term care, automobile, etc)
  • What is the social security amount? Is it directly deposited? Where?
  • Where are social security and Medicare cards located?
  • What are the debts? Mortgages, car payments?
  • Does your loved one have an updated will, a power of attorney, a durable power of attorney? Where are these documents?
  • Has an Advanced Directive been prepared and given to the primary physician and any relatives who may need this?
Physical condition questions
  • Has your loved one had a recent physical? A geriatric assessment?
  • What medications are being taken? Prescription? Over the counter?
  • Do you need to consult with your loved one’s pharmacist and doctor to see if any medications cause interactions or should be avoided?
Housing questions
  • Can your loved one live alone?
  • What housing options are acceptable to your loved one and family? Is a nursing facility or assisted living facility needed? Is your loved one on waiting lists for these facilities if they are (or soon will be) needed?
  • Is senior housing an option?
End of life questions
  • What are your loved ones wishes for funeral and burial arrangements?
  • Have any arrangements already been secured? What is the name and location of the funeral home?