7 Ways You Can Help an Aging Loved One During National Older Americans Month
Do you have an older loved one in your family? Do you have neighbors who are older? Are you aware that May is National Older Americans Month? Across the nation communities, families and loved ones are encouraged to learn more about the issues that our Older Americans face as they age. We encourage you, this month, to think about how you could help the Older Americans in your life by taking the time to read the following suggestions.
- Offer to go grocery shopping and plan meals for an Older American. Did you realize that by providing nutritious food choices you can relieve stress for senior loved ones with mobility issues? You can prepare easy-access finger-foods and pre-cooked multi-serving dishes. Including the use of plastic cups, plates and straws can help senior loved ones reduce clean-up.
- Helping aging parents with their laundry and laying out loose-fitting, comfortable clothes is a great idea. Encourage and help your aging parents to purchase comfortable shoes and clothes with Velcro and large zippers, which can also help your loved ones adapt to temperature changes and varying weather.
- Be aware that because bathtubs and showers can be slippery and dangerous your senior loved ones should be supervised when bathing. It is important to remove any throw rugs and other such obstacles to reduce the risk of falling. Look into adaptive bathing equipment that is helpful, such as shower chairs and hand-held showerheads.
- Did you know that a lapse in dental care for Older Americans could lead to complicated, and painful, health issues? Be sure elder loved ones are rinsing their teeth after every meal and help them brush or keep their dentures clean if they need assistance. Consult a dentist for more specific advice.
- For toilet safety, research and purchase adaptive safety equipment that can help seniors. There is equipment available, such as raised toilet seats and grab bars. Encourage seniors to have a daily routine of bathroom visits to avoid accidents.
- Consider checking in on estate planning. While research tells us that less than half of all Americans have an estate plan, we often find that Older Americans are in the group who have created an estate plan. The key here is to make sure that it reflects what they truly want at this point in their lives. For example, do they have the person they want in place to make decisions about their finances or health care if they do not have the capacity to act for themselves?
- Consider asking about long-term care plans. We know, as experienced Florida estate planning attorneys, that while many Older Americans have an estate plan, they have not considered planning for long-term care. Consider talking to your aging loved ones about how they would pay for assistance in a long-term care facility if it was needed. Have they had a financial assessment of what they can afford? Do they have certain medical conditions they need to be planning for?
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more.