Ways to Help Aging Family Members Facing a Sudden Long-Term Care Crisis at the Holidays

As you and your family anticipated the holiday season, looking forward to family far and wide gathering in one place near aging family members to eat, drink and be merry together, were you aware that you might face the need for one of your aging family members to enter long-term care due to a crisis? This knowledge can definitely quiet the festive spirit and instead introduce a mix of concern, responsibility, and urgency. For many families, the holidays are already a busy period, and the added dimension of an aging family member's sudden health needs can be overwhelming. A circumstance like this requires quick, yet thoughtful, action balancing the need for immediate care with the emotional nuances of the season.

Now what should be your most important consideration? Being sure of the safety and well-being of your aging family member which may require a delicate blend of practical decision-making and empathetic support. In our law practice we understand the challenges you are facing as you attempt to handle these complex issues. We understand that amidst the holiday lights and celebrations, you are now tasked with making crucial decisions about your aging family member’s healthcare, living arrangements, and legal matters, decisions that can affect the entire family dynamic. 

Therefore, the first priority is to not only make sure your aging family member in crisis is safe, but all your aging family members are as well.  You may need to make immediate changes to their living environment to prevent falls or accidents, or arrange for a family member or professional caregiver to stay with them. Be aware and sensitive to the fact that you need to be sure your aging family members feel as supported as possible during this changing time. You and your family can do this with regular visits, engaging in conversations, and involving them in holiday activities as much as possible which can then provide emotional comfort and reduce feelings of isolation.

Your next priority is to locate and review the estate plan of your aging family member, if one exists and if you have not done so already. In addition, you need to do the same for all your other aging family members. Their estate plan will outline their wishes and identify who has been designated to make decisions on their behalf. Understanding these directives is essential for making informed decisions about their care. 

As you move forward, you need to evaluate the level of care your aging family member requires, both currently and in the foreseeable future so you know what you and your family are facing. Take some time to consult with your aging family member’s healthcare professionals to understand their medical needs, mobility issues, and any cognitive impairments. 

We highly recommend that once you know and understand the needs of your aging family member, you should consult with an experienced Florida elder law attorney. They can guide you in finding appropriate long-term care options and assist in navigating the financial aspects.  An elder law attorney can help you look into the various care options, for example, in-home care, assisted living, or nursing homes, based on the specific needs of your aging family member. Now, your aging family member’s Florida estate planning attorney may also be an elder law attorney. If they are not, they may be able to recommend someone who can help.

As you work with your Florida elder law attorney they can also advise on different financial strategies to cover the costs of care. This may include tapping into savings, exploring insurance options, understanding public programs like Medicaid, and considering any benefits your aging family member may be entitled to, such as veterans’ benefits.

We know dealing with a sudden need for long-term care for an aging family member during the holidays can be overwhelming. However, in our law firm we call it “getting your ducks in a row.” We can assist you in taking the sure steps to be sure of their safety, understanding their needs both now and in the future, finding the best long-term care available, and understanding and finding the best financial strategy for your aging family member.  Remember, the goal is not just to find care but to find compassionate care that respects the dignity and wishes of your loved one.

As you begin this journey, remember that you are not alone. Many have walked this path before, and there are ample resources and supportive communities to guide you. The holiday season, with its emphasis on family and togetherness, can be a meaningful backdrop as you and your family step into this new role in your aging family member's life, ensuring their later years are as comfortable and dignified as possible.

We know how difficult this conversation can be and want to help. Do not wait to contact our law practice to learn more today. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting to get your ducks in a row. To learn more about Meloro Law and how we can help you when you need legal representation for estate planning or elder law issues do not wait to call us today.