Those who were not prepared for the sudden rise of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, have been left in the dark. Antibacterial hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, and toilet paper are all in short supply. It is impossible to predict when a crisis like COVID-19 might strike, but we can take steps to prepare for an unexpected crisis to reduce the stress on ourselves and our families.
Designate a family member who will check on elderly relatives. Make sure everyone knows who will be responsible for checking in with an elderly loved one each day. Also set up a process for notifying other family members of an elderly loved one's condition – this may include sending an email, text messaging, or phone calls. The method is not as important as agreeing to a process and sticking to it, so all family members stay informed.
Seek medical advice in the event of a health care crisis. There has been a great deal of reporting about COVID-19, and some of it has been inconsistent. Reach out to your trusted medical team to understand what you and your loved ones should be doing in this, or any, health care crisis.
Make sure someone knows how to get your bills paid if you are unable to. This type of power can be provided to an agent under a financial power of attorney. Powers of attorney can include numerous powers, so it is critical to talk with legal counsel before signing any type of legal document that gives someone else authority over your finances.
Be sure there is an accurate list of medical prescriptions readily available in your home. If you become ill, it is important that someone knows the medicines you take and the dosage. Keep this in your home where others can find it, and make sure the list is dated, noting any time it is updated. Many of us assume that our doctor has an updated prescription list, but if you are seeing multiple specialists, which may not be true.
Designate someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to. This should not be a form that is downloaded from the internet. Deciding what type of treatment you want, where you want to live, and what should happen if you have a terminal illness are serious topics that should be considered carefully, then translated into a proper legal document.
Planning for an unexpected health care or financial crisis can help relieve a great deal of stress for you and your family. We would welcome the opportunity to help you come up with a plan that works for you. If you would like to discuss ways we can help, please contact our office at (352) 565-7737. Conversations are complimentary.