In any family, there is an individual who is assigned the role of a carer. This means that as every other family members settle with their own lives, the carer is left with the responsibility of looking after their ageing parents. Now, if you are given this role, you probably are wondering how you can make entering seniorhood easier for both or one of your parents (if the other is already deceased).
In Australia, many people are included in the sandwich generation. The term simply refers to the circumstance when one has to care for his or her elderly parents while caring for his or her own family. This is often pretty challenging. Anyone in this position will feel pressured by the pressing demands of both families when it comes to time, attention, and resources.
Now, here are some tips to prepare your parents for seniorhood and handle the carer role with grace.
Organise Your Elderly Parents’ Important Documents
With all the things that need to be done, a good starting point is your elderly parents’ documents. Even if their memory is as sharp than ever, now is the perfect time to gather all their important documents for safekeeping. Get a folder and assemble all the necessary documents including:
- Power of attorney documents
- Last will
- Bank details
- Investment or insurance documents
- Pre-arranged funeral details (if there is any)
- Valid ID’s
If you can think of any other important documents that may have been missed in this checklist, might as well gather them altogether. When you have all these in one place, it will be easier for you to deal with various organisations in the future.
Schedule A Meeting with Your Elderly Parents’ Financial Adviser
Another important thing to ask your elderly parents is if they are working with a financial adviser. If so, then might as well schedule a meeting with your parents and their adviser. The adviser can inform you of your elderly parents’ finances and whether they are receiving government entitlements at present or not. The financial adviser also certainly has ideas about your parents’ aged care plans. Working side-by-side with their adviser will make things a lot easier for you.
Understanding The Role of Centrelink In Your Elderly Parents’ Lives
There are certain government entitlements that Australian seniors receive. These are coursed through Centrelink, a government statutory agency that helps and supports eligible Australian seniors through their social security payments.
Now, the best way for you to directly deal with Centrelink is to process a form that authorises you to work with Centrelink on behalf of your elderly parents. This way, you can check your elderly parents’ eligibility as well as update the centre of any changes in your parents’ circumstances.
Get Help from Your Siblings
Knowing that you are not alone in preparing your parents for seniorhood is both relieving and motivating. Even though you are assigned the role of a carer, your siblings can still contribute their time and effort to make the journey easier for your and happier for your ageing parents. Maybe you can set a meeting for all of you and discuss about taking turns in accompanying your elderly parents to the doctor, malls, grocery store, banks, and others. You can also have a family day wherein everyone including the grandchildren will gather for a meal at home or outdoor picnic. Remember, taking care of your elderly parents is more than just a responsibility. It is an act of love that you and your siblings can wholeheartedly do.
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