Editor's Note: The following is part 6 of an online series for National Sandwich Generation Month, aimed at bringing support and awareness to those families sandwiched between raising their kids and caring for aging parents.
Don't scramble at the last minute to find vital documents and information.
No one wants to look for insurance cards, estate planning documents, or even phone numbers during a crisis situation. All of this takes precious time and focus away from being able to make the best decisions possible for your parents.
Instead, make a list of all the information you can possibly need in a crisis situation, then sit down with your parents to ensure that it's organized and easily accessible in a medical emergency.
When making your list, include the following items:
· Copies of the front and back of insurance cards, prescription cards, and military IDs.
· The names and contact information for doctors and specialists.
· The contact information for their bank, financial advisors, insurance
agents, and attorney.
· The location of all estate planning documents, including Power of
Attorney, Living Will, Last Will and Testament, and Living Trust.
· A listing of financial accounts and safe deposit boxes, and institutions
where they're held.
· Basic medical history, such as medications, previous surgeries, and
· A current list of medications with dosage information.
Once this list is compiled and you know where all the information is located, ask your parents who you should share this information with. This is sensitive, private information they may not want shared with every family member, but it is also important to make sure multiple people know where to look in the unlikely—but still very possible—event that you are also incapacitated in a time of crisis.
When you have the names of who you should share the information with, make sure to provide them copies of the list you assembled and answer any questions they may have.