Nobody likes planning for the worst, but as a senior, being prepared in case of a medical emergency can greatly reduce the strain put on your family and provide you with peace of mind in moments of crisis. There is some important information to compile in a binder or computer file to give to your loved ones in case you get sick, injured, or mentally incapacitated.
To prepare for a medical crisis, assembling any information that could be crucial to your medical care is key. Be sure to make copies of your Health Care Proxy, insurance cards, birth certificate, and social security card and keep records of your medical history, including your conditions and disabilities, lab results, blood type, allergies, medications, immunizations, and doctor’s contact information. Consider carrying a card with your full name, address, emergency contact, and some of this information (like your blood type, medical conditions, and allergies) in your wallet or pocketbook.
Make copies of important documents such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and adoption paperwork. Keep a list of all of your important passwords, especially for emails, banking, and healthcare apps. Provide the names and phone numbers of your professional advisors, such as lawyers, accountants and financial advisors. Don’t forget routine service providers like landscapers, pool maintenance, and electricians.
Gathering your financial records in one place is beneficial to the management of your finances and will make your loved ones’ lives easier. Keep records of your sources of income and pension information, including a copy of your recent tax returns and bank statements. Don’t forget to include life insurance policies, real estate deeds, car titles, and the location of safety deposit boxes. List any beneficiary designations you may have. Record liabilities such as a mortgage or credit card debt.
Legal documents should be prepared with an attorney to protect your assets in case of an emergency. Always be sure to have an updated Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will and copies of your trusts.
Pre-planning your funeral can be a final gift to your loved ones. Consider pre-paying or pre-planning for your cemetery plot or compiling your desired funeral and burial arrangements. It might be uncomfortable, but it can provide you with a sense of relief while taking a major weight off your family’s shoulders.
A little organizing today can save you and your loved one’s precious time, money, and aggravation in the future.