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Elder Care Preparation Checklist

Caring for an older adult can be both a rewarding experience and one filled with challenges. Whether you are planning for the future or are currently caring for an aging family member, use this checklist to prepare in advance of a crisis. 


The Home

Evaluate the home for safety and accessibility in order to promote independent living and minimize injuries 

  • Utilize a Home Safety Checklist to identify home modifications and the steps you can take to reduce risk  

  • Evaluate the home for any needed home maintenance



Assess your loved one’s financial status in order to prepare for future needs

  • Review annual income and sources of income, as well as savings and retirement accounts

    • Gather contact information for all advisors and financial institutions

    • Make sure all accounts are titled correctly 

    • If possible, add yourself to accounts

  • Verify that they are receiving Social Security benefits and check their deposit history if necessary

  • If they are a veteran or surviving spouse, review whether they are eligible for benefits

  • Confirm whether there is a mortgage or loan on the home

  • Review any debts and develop a repayment plan

  • Consider long-term care insurance to help pay for future care if your loved one is under 70.

  • Identify ways to streamline bill paying, such as establishing automatic payments

  • Remind them that if they are saving for a “rainy day,” that their care is part of that rainy day plan



Confirm that all necessary legal documents are in place; otherwise their wishes may not be honored

  • Ensure that they have a durable power of attorney for finance and an advance healthcare directive

  • Confirm whether they have have drawn up a will and have any trusts

  • Discuss where the legal documents are being stored and whether they have an estate attorney

  • Review the agents, beneficiaries, and responsibilities to ensure accuracy and relevance



Learn about preferences and create a caregiving plan for future short-term and long-term care needs 

  • Discuss what aging at home might look like, including having someone in the home to assist with tasks  

    • Is there a family member who could do this or would someone need to be hired?

  • Identify whom to include in the care team and how they can assist, including in case of an emergency

  • Consider visiting assisted living or a senior living facilities to learn what they offer

  • If one person is already caring for another, create a plan in case they are unable to provide care 

  • If there are pets in the home, make sure there is a plan to care for them



It is important that you know what types of insurance and coverage are in place before the need arises

  • Make a list of all active insurance policies: automotive, homeowners, renters, health, and long-term care

  • Review the insurance policies and make certain you understand what is covered

  • Consider consulting with the State Health Insurance Counseling Program to ensure that Medicare plans meet health needs 


Medical Care

Become involved in their medical care so that you are better prepared in case of an emergency situation

  • Discuss health needs including routine health care and chronic conditions

  • Ask about their latest medical check-up and help schedule upcoming appointments 

  • Make a list of all their medical providers, medications, and medical equipment

  • Locate the nearest hospital or urgent care facility 

  • Establish a relationship with their primary care physician 

  • Discuss what kinds of treatments and interventions they would want if they cannot voice their wishes, including end-of-life care

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