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How do I plan for an aging parent’s future?

Dr. Oluwatoyin Thomas, MD
Geriatric Medicine Specialist

You and your parent will need to address the difficult topic of preparing for the future, such as maintaining health, handling finances, and death and dying. Your parent’s physician should become a partner in discussing these topics. 

Your parent’s physician may ask about any arrangements or if your parent has chosen someone to advocate for them medically or financially. Most often, the parent will choose a child or close family member. 

You and your parent should make sure that a plan for future medical and financial issues is addressed. It is important for other family members to know who is responsible for what, so there are no surprises.

It is important that you discuss your parent’s wishes regarding health and end-of-life choices. Having those conversations sooner rather than later is better for everyone concerned. You can use advanced care planning to address these issues early, thus planning for a worst-case scenario. Having decisions in writing and designating trusted people to make decisions on their behalf can bring you and your parent peace of mind.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.