Kristin GlasureBy Kristin Glasure, FAIRHOPE President and CEO

When you become a caregiver, you need to be authorized to act and make decisions on your loved one’s behalf. This can be difficult but requires preparation, patience and understanding. The three key areas are managing the legal, financial, and medical decisions for your loved one. This blog will cover some of the legal and financial plans. We encourage you to work with professionals to ensure your loved ones’ wishes are identified.

The first step is to work with an elder law attorney. They can assist with a range of services such as last will, testament, Durable Power of Attorney, preparing the estate for Medicaid Eligibility, and more. While you can execute some legal forms without an attorney, it is imperative to have legal advice and assistance from an elder law specialist. Below are a few local and trusted law firms:

As a caregiver, taking on the financial responsibility of your loved one can be challenging. It is important to keep your finances on track while caring for someone else. Below are some places to explore financial help.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), monthly payments for people unable to work due to a serious medical condition.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), is a safety-net benefit for older, disabled, and blind people with minimal income and assets.
  • Medicare is the federal healthcare program for people aged 65 and older.
  • Medicaid is the federal healthcare program for low-income individuals and families.
  • Veteran benefits, including financial support for caregivers of former service members.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).
  • Personal Care Agreement, which helps manage caregiving responsibilities. These are formal contracts that state what care needs to be provided.

“The ultimate goal is to make sure you have all the decision-making rights you need to manage your loved one’s affairs,” advises Charles Sabatino, director of the Commission on Law and Aging at the American Bar Association (ABA).

Our goal is to help support you in your caregiving role. We hope this series helped you prepare and understand what is available. Everyone’s situation is unique. Some advice may work for some but not others. It is important to give yourself grace during this time. Stay tuned for our next blog series!