Elder Care Tips: Essential Documents You Should Have Accessible at All Times
As a family caregiver, information is the most powerful tool you can have in your elder care journey. Having access to the right information at all times helps you to handle emergency situations,
visits to the hospital, or other decisions with your aging loved ones as smoothly and confidently as possible. One type of information you should have easily accessible at all times is essential personal documents. These are the documents that contain vital information you will need to ensure your parents stay safe and healthy in all situations.
Essential documents that you and your parents’ elderly health care services provider should have easily accessible at all times include:
- Birth certificate
- Driver’s license or official state identification with picture
- Insurance coverage card
- Social Security card
- Credit cards
- Military service records
- Organ donor card
- Mortgage records
- Other personal loan records
- Legal documents such as a living will, advance directive, legal power of attorney, or healthcare proxy
- Marriage certificate
- Deeds to all property
It is important to have photocopies of these documents readily available for use during challenging or emergency situations while also keeping the original documents safe and secure in another location.
Other documentation that you should keep in a secure location in addition to the original versions of the above documents include:
- Tax returns
- Burial plot information
- Contact list containing the contact information for all individuals who may need to be contacted in an emergency or at the time of death, including members of the clergy, insurance agents, attorney, tax advisor, beneficiaries, financial planner, trust manager, representative for bank account, loan agent, credit card company
- Written descriptions of funeral arrangements and final arrangements
- Insurance policies
- Bonds, stocks, and other investment information
- Trust information
- Banking information
- Receipts for valuable possessions in the home
- Appraisals for valuable such as jewelry and collectibles
Originals of these items should be kept somewhere safe and secure, such as a fire safe or a safe deposit box. Make sure that you maintain a list of all of the contents of the secure storage location and maintain control over who has access to the keys or combination to the safe or box.
Which documents you will need varies depending on the particular situation or emergency that has arisen. A trip to the emergency room, for example, will require different documents than the investigation of a potential case of identity theft or when drawing up other legal documents. By keeping the documents in a centralized location and letting the critical members of your elder care team know where to find them, you ensure that you can get to this information when you need it without adding stress or anxiety to the situation.
Get in touch with the elder care agency to find out more about hiring a care provider to help you create and maintain an effective, personalized care plan for your aging loved ones, and to get recommendations for other documents and information you should have accessible throughout your care journey.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care services in Villanova, PA, contact the caring professionals at Reliant At Home Care today (610) 674-6860.