By Marcie Droll-Durian
As we venture into the new year, many of us have big goals! You know, the usual: I am going to work out, lose weight, get nine hours of sleep every night, eat clean, have a date night with my spouse every week, and so forth! Some folks follow through with their New Year’s goals, but many don’t, as life gets so busy and we often overcommit ourselves. As I have spent a good portion of the winter thus far working with caregivers and helping them with their loved ones with life transitions, the common denominator with so many was the organization of important information regarding the loved ones that they are caring for. Caregivers are so busy caregiving that the task of gathering important documents is often put on the backburner, that includes all information that will become pertinent if you have an emergent situation or if you are just looking to transition them to a senior living community. Often times, a checklist is helpful in gathering this information, so it does not feel so overwhelming. Consider the following as a good place to start with things to gather or take care of.
- Name (Full, maiden,any prior names from previous marriages)
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Birth/marriage certificates
- Veteran D/C papers (this can be used when applying for VA benefits)
- Lock box location and key location
- Attorney name and location of Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney Papers (financial and healthcare)
- Bank information (may have multiple banks), is there someone authorized to sign checks or obtain information if the person is unable to?
- Investments, savings, CDs, money market accounts, and who are these with
- Insurance Policies, who are they with, and are they currently in force (agent name and number)
- Health insurance information/pharmacy/physicians (copies of cards)
- LTC Insurance (if they have it, agent name and number)
- Debt, such as mortgage, credit cards, personal loans? These may need to be considered when planning to pay for senior living.
- Funeral wishes, are arrangements made and paid for, or what are their wishes?
These are the general and more important ones to start with to get organized. LivWell Seniors is a great resource in helping you with the details and guiding you to the most appropriate resources. This will make the transition so much easier if and when the time comes, especially in the case of an emergent situation. Be sure to keep all of this together and in a safe place so that it is there when you need it. This does take some time and effort, but you will be so happy you took care of organizing it when you need it most! Happy 2019!
LivWell Seniors serves as a local agency providing community-based resources that are 100-percent free to seniors and their families. They are funded by the senior care providers that utilize their service and network of connections. For further information, contact us at 563-265-1577, or visit our website at www.livwellseniors.com.
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