At first glance, it seems odd that legal documents might just be giving you caregiving support.
The right ones can indeed ease your stress.
In addition to being the primary caregiver, you may easily become an advocate—maybe the advocate—for your loved one.
You may be the one who speaks when they can’t, or even insists upon following their instructions when they can’t speak or aren’t being listened to…
When Mary assumed the role of caregiver, she didn’t think about what might happen some day. She just knew that she needed to care for her mother as long as she could at home.
As her mother’s disease progressed, she became weaker and eventually unable to speak for herself. Mary and her mother had sought the advice of a lawyer while Mary’s mother was still well.
The lawyer advised in addition to a new Will, that her mother have a Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will. Should her mother be unable to speak for herself, stating her wishes and appointing Mary to speak for her gave Mary the legal authority to be her mother’s advocate.
Caregiving may be the hardest thing you ever do.
Anything that increases your caregiving support and decreases your stress is usually a good thing.
Having the appropriate legal documents can give you and your loved one peace of mind. You’ll both know that his or her wishes are being carried out.
You do need to keep the documents safe and handy. Keeping them in a Ziploc bag inside a metal box or small safe or firebox is a good idea. You may want to ask your loved one’s lawyer where the best place to keep them is.
If you think it’s possible someone may need them when you’re not here, you may want to keep a copy in a handy place like a letter rack or a drawer near a door or phone. And be sure other caregivers know where the documents are, should an emergency occur.
You probably want to keep medical information and medical insurance information with a copy of the Living Will and Power of Attorney available in case of an emergency.
What legal documents can be part of your caregiving support?
- Medical information to consider including would be medications, allergies, and doctor’s name and numbers. In addition to names and doses of medications, frequency of the doses and length of time on the medication are useful. As is keeping the list up to date!
- Medical insurance information is probably the information most needed urgently. Other insurance policies should be kept together. It’s also a good idea to include the name and phone number of the insurance agent for ease of contact.
- Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney is important when your loved one is unable to sign checks or pay bills. You and your loved one need to consult with an attorney for advice regarding these documents in addition to a Will and Testament.
Protecting your loved one is an important part of caregiving. Knowing where these documents are can give you and your loved one peace of mind, and be helpful in an emergency.
What’s the best time to organize these documents?
Before you need them.
These documents can help you, and also help the medical team. Good doctors and nurses want to honor a patient’s wishes regarding their own care. Especially when he or she made final wishes known in writing with witnesses.
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Remember to laugh loud, laugh long and laugh often. It helps decrease your stress and is fun!
To your healthy caregiving,
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.
This web site is not intended to replace medical, financial, legal, or any other professional advice. Please use your own good judgment and consult with your own professionals before applying any ideas found within this website.