Are you concerned this holiday season, that your time of celebrating with family and friends may take an unplanned turn because of the reality that an aging loved one requires long-term care? Into the holiday celebration there is now introduced a mix of concern, responsibility, and urgency. For many families, the busy holidays now have the added dimension of a loved one’s sudden health needs and that can be overwhelming. This situation requires swift, yet thoughtful, action balancing the need for immediate care with the emotional nuances of the season.

What are the steps you need to know if an aging loved one needs immediate help during the holidays?  Being sure of the safety and well-being of your aging loved one becomes the top priority and it may require a delicate blend of practical decision-making and empathetic support. We know and understand the challenges you are facing as you attempt to work through these complex issues. We also know and understand that amidst the holiday celebrations, you are now tasked with making critical decisions about healthcare, living arrangements, and legal matters, decisions that can affect the entire family dynamic.

To begin, the first priority is to make sure your aging loved one is safe. This might involve making immediate changes to their living environment to prevent falls or accidents, or arranging for a family member or professional caregiver to stay with them. Keep in mind that it is crucial to ensure that your aging loved one feels as supported as possible during this transition. You can help be sure this happens with regular visits, engaging in conversations, and involving your aging loved one in holiday activities as much as possible which can then provide emotional comfort and reduce feelings of isolation.

The next priority is to locate and review the California estate plan of your aging loved one, if one exists and if you have not done so already. Their estate plan will outline their wishes and identify who has been designated to make decisions on their behalf. Understanding these directives is essential for making informed decisions about their care

Be mindful that as you continue, you will want to evaluate the level of care your aging loved one requires, both currently and in the foreseeable future so you know what you are facing . This might involve consulting with healthcare professionals to understand their medical needs, mobility issues, and any cognitive impairments. 

Most importantly, once you have a clear understanding of the needs of your aging loved one, it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced California elder law attorney. They can guide you in finding appropriate long-term care options and assist in navigating the financial aspects.  An elder law attorney can help you explore various care options, such as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing homes, based on the specific needs of your aging loved one. Be aware, your aging loved one’s estate planning attorney may also be an elder law attorney. If they are not, they may be able to recommend someone who can help.

In addition, the California elder law attorney you work with can also advise on financial strategies to cover the costs of care. This may include tapping into savings, exploring insurance options, understanding public programs like MediCal, and considering any benefits your aging loved one may be entitled to, such as veterans’ benefits.

We know and understand that dealing with a sudden need for long-term care for an aging loved one during the holidays can be overwhelming. However, by taking methodical steps to ensure their safety, understanding their needs, and seeking professional guidance, you can walk through this challenging time with confidence. Remember, the goal is not just to find care but to find compassionate care that respects the dignity and wishes of your aging loved one.

As you begin this journey, remember that you are not alone. Many have been on this journey before, and there are ample resources and supportive communities to guide you. The holiday season, with its emphasis on family and togetherness, can be a meaningful backdrop as you step into this new role in your aging loved one’s life, ensuring their later years are as comfortable and dignified as possible.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Do you have questions? We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our office is here for you and your loved ones. Please call us to schedule a meeting time.