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Preparing to take care of an elderly relative

Caring for a loved one should be second-nature for most of us. We want to help out the people that we love so that they can be happy and healthy. What isn’t intuitive for us, however, is how to take care of an elderly loved one, especially if the reason you need to take care of them is due to worsening health concerns. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources out there to help you, so that you can do more than try your best, you can do your best. To start your caretaking journey, all you need to do is follow these steps:

Move Relatives Closer to You

If they are already retired, the best solution for both of you is to move them closer to you. You are likely situated somewhere necessary for work, or your children still live at home and uprooting them would prove disruptive, meaning that moving closer to them is not typically the best option. By either moving them into your own home or by moving them to an apartment nearby, you can spend more time with them and take better care of them. This is the best alternative to a retirement home, especially because you can be trained to be their official caregiver.

Become Trained

In New York, Medicaid NY recipients have the right to choose their at-home caretaker. Not only can they choose, but they can also select a loved one (so long as it isn’t their spouse) to become trained and to even receive financial compensation through the Medicare program. To become their caretaker your loved one will need to enroll in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). The best part is that the program is funded through Medicare, meaning that your loved one isn’t paying for you to take care of them, but that the state is.

Help Them Prepare

Taking care of them personally is not the only way that you can prepare to take care of them. End of life arrangements should be made while they are still capable of making fully-informed decisions. The earlier they make these decisions, the more they will be able to be paid off, as is the case with things like life insurance or financially preparing for funeral costs. Most importantly, however, you should ensure that they have their will drawn up and updated every few years. It can be daunting and strange preparing for your own death, so help them through the process. You want them to make the final decisions on key parts of their life, not anyone else.

The more you spend time with your loved one, the better. Their retirement will mean that they have more time to spend with you, so take full advantage of it. Invite them over to dinner, plan dates out with them, and try to make as many memories as possible. We are only given a small amount of time on this earth, and it is the impacts that we make on others that give us purpose. Spend time with them because when they are gone the only thing that you will have left is your memories, so it’s best to make them great ones.

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