Tips for Baby Boomers Who are Responsible for
Baby Boomers becoming caregivers for one or both of their
parents face a challenging and rewarding responsibility.
If you are in this group, you belong to a fast growing
segment of the Baby Boomer population. Parental care is
difficult, but giving back support and love to your parents
can create a special time that brings you closer. Our
mission is to make elder care easier for you by providing tips,
advice and useful information about parental care resources
that can assist you in this. journey.
Some Sage Parental Care Advice from Boomers Who Have been
As Baby Boomers ourselves who have been caregivers to
parents that are now deceased, here is some seasoned
parental care wisdom:
Recognize that your roles are switching - you are
becoming the parent as they hand over more
responsibility and authority over their lives to you.
The time will likely come when you have to make
decisions for them.
Sit down with your parent(s) and have a frank discussion
about how they would like to spend their "golden years."
Make sure your parent(s) have a Living Will, so that
their wishes can be carried out as they approach death
(e.g., do not resuscitate or unnecessarily extend life
by artificial means). Many hospitals will not let
you make decisions for your parent(s) unless you are so
appointed in a Living Will.
As a related caregiver, you should have a notarized
Power of Attorney that allows you to
make decisions if
your parent(s) are incapable of doing so. It is
also a good idea to become a joint account holder on
their bank accounts and investments. If your
parents have a living trust, you should be named as
successor trustee, so you can step in as financial
manager if needed.
If necessary, help them set up a system to ensure that
bills are paid on time.
If you are concerned about a parent's ability to
continue driving, talk to their doctor or notify the
local Department of Motor Vehicles (which may be able to
require a driving test).
Have a written list of all the medications your parent(s)
use, including dosage. Know how to contact their
primary care physician. Have copies of their
insurance records. This is very important
information for emergency room personnel and hospitals.
Discuss funeral and internment wishes with your parent(s).
In a tactful way, help your parent(s) sort through their
belongings. Whom would they like to receive
special items? What can be gotten rid of?
Make sure your parent(s) have a written, witnessed Will
to avoid the messy, expensive and lengthy probate
process. Ideally, the primary caregiver should be
the Executor of the Will. Quicken WillMaker is an
easy way to prepare a legal Will while working directly
with your parent(s). Attorneys often prepare Wills
for an affordable fixed fee as well.
Know where all important documents are.
This is a precious time. Include your parent(s) in
activities and let them know
everyday that you love them.
Elder Care Locator
Locator is a helpful service that puts you in touch with
state, local and
federal senior services organizations. They can
provide meals, transportation, training and in-home
professional services to assist you as a caregiver or to
help your parent(s) continue to live independently in the
What Benefits are Available to Help Parenting Caregivers and their Parent(s)?
BenefitsCheckUp.org is a free online service where Baby
Boomers can identify and explore benefits to which they and
their parent(s) are entitled. A service of the
National Council on Aging, it covers local, state and
federal programs. And you can find everything in one
You can apply for extra Medicare help and find programs that
can help you pay for prescription drugs, health care,
utilities, taxes and more.
Boomer Parental Care and
Hospice is a world-wide movement to help terminally-ill
people die at home in comfort (pain free) and with dignity.
For those of you who have lost a loved one, you probably
already know this is a wonderful organization and a great
alternative to dying in a hospital.
Hospice treats death as a natural part of life and
encourages both patients and their families to share the
experience in a nurturing, loving fashion. It focuses
on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the
patient and family. No other medical care provides this type
of patient care.