In a recent USA Today article called “Most Baby Boomers Lack A Plan To Care For Parents” a majority of Baby Boomers say they are likely to become caregivers for their parents, but only half can name any medications their parents take, a new survey shows. The survey of 600 adults ages 45 to 65, conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network, also found:
•31% don't know how many medications their parents take.
•34% don't know whether their parents have a safe deposit box or where the key is.
•36% don't know where their parents' financial information is located.
Also, the Administration on Aging (aoa.gov) has emergency readiness lists and publications for older adults and caregivers that were updated after Hurricane Katrina took a heavy toll on New Orleans’ older population. The federal agency advises updating records every two to three months.
The majority of caregivers we work with have done no advance planning. As the saying goes “It is not important until it's urgent.” So much stress and uncertainty down the road can be prevented.
Lack of planning can lead to serious complications when decisions need to be made quickly. It's vitally important to plan ahead and have these conversations with parents, or families can act out of fear and make mistakes when emergencies arise.