Adult children are statutorily responsible to be caregivers for their aging parents. Aging parents at times enter into caregiver contracts with their children. A caregiver contract defines caregiving provisions about elder care and specifies the responsibilities and benefits of the caregiver. Such contracts ensure that the cost of care is paid for and helps to avoid any potential future conflicts between family members.
Elderly parents may also give instructions to the children regarding their health care in the future when they may be unable to make decisions because of illness. The document that provides instructions about future health care is known as an advance health care directive. A living will is a type of an advance directive that provides instructions for treatment.
General Durable Power of Attorney
As long as mentally competent, aging parents may execute a power of attorney in the name of another person to look after their legal, financial and medical matters. A power of attorney is a written document by which one person is authorized to handle another person's property and other legal affairs.
Occasionally, the courts appoint legal guardians to the aging parents when they are unable to care for themselves. Legal guardians take legal custody of the elder person and handle the elder person's property and other affairs.
Last Will and Testament
With the help of a last will and testament, the elders may assign assets to their heir upon their death A last will and testament is a legal document by which a person assigns one or more persons to manage his/her property at death. Elderly parents should be consulted while executing estate planning documents, such as a will or a power of attorney to ensure that their property is distributed according to their wishes.
Protection of the Elderly
Old persons are vulnerable to many forms of harassment, abuse and mistreatment. There are various organizations and agencies that provide numerous services to the aged. Such organizations provide various senior help/family help packages to prepare aged persons emotionally well in advance and help them through. Organizations like home health care agencies provide many in-home services. There are agencies such as the Administration on Aging for advancing the interests of seniors. The aim of such agencies are to develop a cost effective and complete system of home and community-based services that helps old persons to maintain their health and freedom in their home and society.
These days, many elders prefer to live in assisted living facilities like nursing homes. However, before choosing a nursing home proper enquiries should be made if it is properly licensed and you should also check the track record of the institution. There are many organizations like the National Center for Elder Abuse that collect and publish information on nursing homes.