No one can escape getting older. There is nothing anyone can do to stop it, but preparations can be made that will make it easier when the time comes. Adult children with aging parents in the District of Columbia would most likely benefit from some elder care planning before it is needed.
The first step is to gain an understanding of a parent's wishes when it comes to financial matters and health care choices. Once an aging parent is having serious medical issues or becomes incapacitated, it may be too late to know what those choices would have been. Once those subjects have been properly vetted, an estate plan needs to be created or updated if one already exists.
Estate planning documents need to be drafted and executed before any problems with a parent's mental acuity arise. Not only will having these documents in place make things easier for adult children, but it will also provide the parent or parents with the peace of mind that things will be handled in accordance with their wishes. It will allow them to maintain some control over their future even if they become incapacitated. This includes having the appropriate permissions assigned to individuals who can gain access to accounts, safety deposit boxes and other property.
Elder care planning may not be a comfortable process, especially at first. However, any discomfort involved will be well worth it when the time comes. Making arrangements in advance will prevent the need to go before a District of Columbia court in order to obtain the right to care for an aging parent's health and finances, which could also waste valuable time and money just when it is needed the most.
Source: forbes.com, "6 Things Caregivers Must Do While There's Still Time", May 28, 2015