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How Do I Prepare Before My Children Become Responsible for Care Decisions?


I am trying to prepare BEFORE my children become responsible for care decisions for my husband and me. (We are 74 and 72). I would like to get support systems set up BEFORE they are needed in an emergency. (Geriatrician, geriatric care manager, elder law attorney, etc. etc.) Any advice you could give would be wonderful!

Lucille, Akron, OH

Hi Lucille,

I really admire your forward thinking and it just so happens that I am full of advice on this topic!

How do I prepare before my children become responsible for care decisions?

First, write down your thoughts on what you’d like the rest of your life to look like.  Start with where you’d like to live if you continue to be able-bodied.  Then ask yourself what kind of assistance you’d be willing to accept and from whom, if you couldn’t manage completely independently in that setting.  Would you want to move somewhere else if you required help? If so, where would you want to/be willing to move?

Next, consider your health and who is helping you to manage it. Do you trust these providers? If not, make it a top priority to find new ones.

Once you’ve covered housing, home care and health care, it’s time to write a will and designate both a health care proxy and a financial power of attorney. Make certain that whomever you choose not only understand your wishes, but will respect them to the best of their abilities.

Finally, make your children aware of your decisions and be sure to update all involved should they change.

Hope this helps,


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ela June 30, 2014, 11:17 PM

    Lucille- I’d like to add one more thing… Please talk to your friends as well. They probably feel the same way but don’t know how to bring it up with their own children or don’t know how to go about planning. It’s great that you reached out with your question and concern. I’m in the process of having these discussions with my mom and dad. Sadly they are not as receptive to the conversation. I’m still trying.

    Thank you
    Ela, from Memphis Tn.

  • Beth June 4, 2014, 10:42 PM

    I just read an article about something like this on http://sterlingcare.com/non-medical-staffing/services/non-medical-geriatric-care/ There is a lot of information there on care decisions. Check it out.

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