Atlantans are growing older. The Atlanta Regional Commission says senior citizens could make up 20 percent of the metropolitan region population by 2030. As more families move elderly parents into their homes or look at other care options, they must answer difficult questions about how to transition their loved ones into the next phase of their lives. Some of these questions involve insurance; here are some tips on what to consider.
As your loved one ages, the non-profit Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) recommends participating in managing their driving—including making sure that they are current and adequately covered on their car insurance policy—so that there is support available in case of an emergency.
As with any change of residence, if your elderly loved one moves from his or her current home into your household or another residence, it’s a good idea to inform their insurance company about the change of address and living situation.
Such moves also often involve consolidating possessions, putting some away in storage and then moving the rest. This is a good opportunity to update your loved one’s home inventory—or yours if they move in with you. Contact your agent to discuss the right level of personal property coverage for the revised inventory.
If you decide to seek a personal care home or nursing facility for your loved one, the state and federal governments can offer you some help: The State Bar of Georgia recommends contacting the Georgia Department of Human Resources’ Office of Regulatory Services for information on facilities in your area; Medicare also offers a similar registry of qualified care facilities. MyFoxAtlanta also recommends purchasing a home alert system—so your loved one can call for help in the event of a fall or other accident. They also suggest placing a lockbox containing a house key near the residence’s door, which would allow emergency workers to key in a security code and gain access to the home without damaging the door.
Finally, consider how your loved one’s care will be funded. The I.I.I. says that long-term care insurance should be considered because Medicare and many common private insurance plans do not cover custodial care. Lastly, if you are the principal caregiver and you are concerned about what might happen if, at some point, you are unable to continue offering that care due to a disability, disability insurance coverage may provide additional peace of mind and resources to continue care of your loved one.
Caring for an elderly loved one can be a challenging time in the life of both the caregiver and the person being cared for. Planning and smart insurance decisions can help you and your loved one make the transition into the golden years with peace of mind.