Each of us is impacted in our own way as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. While this is normally a month of celebration for us as it is National Elder Law Month across the country, we find ourselves facing unusual challenges as a result of the Coronavirus. From business closures to social distancing to increased risk for many of our California seniors, there are new issues that we all need to address and plan for together.
We know that you and your aging loved ones may have questions surrounding the pandemic, as well as others. As we remain fully operational during this unprecedented time, some of these questions may include:
- Who can act as my advocate in a crisis?
- What if my parents get Covid-19?
- How can I check in on my parent in a nursing home?
- Do I have the authority to act for my grandparent?
- Do I need a power of attorney?
- How will I be able to afford the cost of a nursing home in California?
- What is Medi-Cal?
We are answering these questions for our clients and the professionals we work with each day. As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our experience allows us to be uniquely positioned to help those who need these answers. We also know that it is not enough to simply provide legal solutions, we want to share several ideas that you can use right now to help our California seniors in our blog.
1. Help seniors avoid isolation. Isolation continues to be a concern when we are discussing our California seniors. Unfortunately, research shows us that isolation in our aging population can lead to increased instances in depression, heart disease, and other serious conditions. Your actions can directly help your aging loved ones. Just the simple act of calling another person, texting, or engaging in a video chat can do quite a bit to lessen potential conditions emerging from isolation.
2. Lend a helping hand, even if no one asks you to. For many individuals within our older generations, asking for help is simply not what they do. They are used to being self-reliant. They do not want to need to rely on another person, even if it is in their best interest. Actively listen to your loved ones and identify ways that you can help. Then, instead of asking, take action to help out.
3. Ask about estate planning documents. Although your loved ones may want to keep many of their affairs private, it is important for you to understand who can act for them in a crisis. Who is the health care decision maker? Who has legal authority to make financial decisions? What health care services do they want, and what do they not want? Do not wait to ask your loved ones and get the information you need so that you can best advocate for them.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We encourage you not to wait but to ask us. Our entire practice team is here to help you and your family now, and in the future.