Elderly Care Legal Considerations
Discover more about putting your loved one’s affairs in order from elderly care professionals
To ensure that your senior loved one’s wishes are followed in case of a healthcare emergency, it is important to prepare legal documents in advance. Addressing legal issues on time can give your family peace of mind that your senior mom or dad will receive the care they want, even if they cannot convey those wishes due to a medical crisis. According to elderly care professionals, there are several legal documents that seniors should be aware of such as living wills, powers of attorney, and living trusts, among others.
A living will is a legal document that provides the family caregiver with information about the kind of care the senior wants to receive. A living will can be revoked at any time while the person is healthy and able to make decisions on their own. Apart from having a living will, it is important to name a health care proxy to carry out the wishes written down in the will or medical directive. This is known as durable power of attorney for health care. In case your loved one doesn’t have a care proxy, the court can appoint a guardian or conservator. A living trust is a legal document that also enables you to carry out your loved ones instructions if they are unable to manage financial, healthcare, and legal affairs for whatever reason.
Important legal documents also include an HIPAA release and durable power of attorney for finances, which gives you permission to manage your loved one’s financial affairs. An HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) authorization is a simple document that authorizes the doctor to share necessary information with you on your loved one's behalf.
Elderly care professionals also believe that collecting and organizing these legal documents is very significant. Aside from having originals, it is wise to make copies which are easily obtainable in the event of a crisis. Your loved one should gather their birth certificate, social security records, life insurance information, policy numbers, Medicare documents, bank statements, and mortgage papers in one place. Every situation is different and if your loved one wants to consult a lawyer, it is best to find one who specializes in elder law.
For more information about legal documents for seniors, please contact Comfort Keepers Home Care in Spartanburg, SC. We are happy to offer elderly care advice!