Caring for an aging parent or loved one is an invaluable form of support, but it can feel stressful and overwhelming as it often comes with unique financial, medical and legacy challenges.
For some, the care giving journey is a gradual process of increasing support to loved ones. For others, a significant health or financial event prompts caregiving responsibilities unexpectedly.
While every family situation is different, these actions can help prioritize your loved one’s wellbeing and manage stress:
1. Clarify Roles and Responsibilities
Caregiving is a partnership. As such, gather your family members for an initial conversation to help define roles and responsibilities. Regularly revisit the roles and responsibilities as needs and capacities change over time. It’s also important to learn and confirm the wishes and preferences of those being cared for.
2. Stay Connected and Informed on Finances
It’s common for an adult child to help manage or provide general oversight to finances as their parents or loved ones age.
3. Review Insurance Policies
In addition to your loved ones’ finances, familiarize yourself with their insurance policies. Ask permission to closely review the policy details to determine if the policy is up-to-date and the coverage meets their needs. Specifically, confirm that the correct beneficiaries are listed.
4. Watch for Financial Fraud
Aging individuals are often at higher risk of becoming a victim of financial fraud and identity theft.
5. Manage Health Information
Regardless of if your loved one has a medical condition, it helps to become familiar with their health care.
6. Understand Their Legacy Wishes
An Ameriprise Financial study found that more than two-thirds of investors indicated they wanted to pass along wealth to their heirs. But many people are reluctant to discuss their intentions during their lifetime.
To stay informed on your loved one’s wishes, set aside time to have a legacy conversation and go over the details of their estate plan. Ensure all heirs attend or record the discussion, so everyone hears the estate plan details firsthand and can ask questions.
Remember You're Not Alone
As loved ones age, it’s normal for families to find themselves providing more support. Taking proactive actions now can reduce stressors for you and your loved one later. An Ameriprise financial advisor, along with medical and legal professionals, will help you navigate and coordinate the challenges of caring for aging parents or loved ones.