ELITE ADVISOR BEST PRACTICES
Addressing Today’s Elder Care Issues - Part Two
More key tactics for elite advisors and their clients and even their own parents
By Valentino Sabuco, CFP®, AEP®
- With our aging population and unbelievable advancements in health care and technology, elder care is a fast-growing specialty that elite advisors may want to explore.
- However, elder care is a complex area of personal finance with deep personal and emotional aspects as well.
- Don’t hesitate to discuss financial strategies and get second opinions from professional financial advisers with expertise in this area.
As the Holidays head into full swing, you’ve probably got your hands full just managing day-to-day activities of your hectic life, so it’s tempting to put off crucial eldercare decisions that your clients, perhaps even your own family may be facing. Don’t!
As we discussed in Part One, when a client’s parents need some form of assistance, be careful not to rush in and try to take total control of their lives. The good news is that elder care matters are a growing specialty area in which elite advisors may want to explore as a service line extension. Here are five more tactics that today’s savvy advisors are using to help their clients with the financially and emotionally challenging aspects of eldercare.
6. Get professional advice
Parents may want or need to have a professional private care manager or social service agency give them advice on where they might consider living. If they want to live at home after a hospital stay, they can contact a home health care agency based on recommendations from their physician, the hospital’s discharge planner or a neighborhood senior center, or they can use the Elder Care Locator’s online site.
This is a complex area of personal finance, not to mention the personal emotional aspects. Don’t hesitate to discuss financial strategies and get second opinions from professional financial advisers with expertise in this area. This is a specialty area where illogical and strange laws and rules exist.
7. Make the home safer
The majority of elderly people want to live in their homes. Maintaining the status quo can positively influence elderly parents’ future health.
Their residence may require modifications or repairs so they can live at home safely. Have your clients consider putting in porch lights that blink after 911 is called and installing motion light switches, grab bars and nonskid strips, shower benches, and other special devices.
8. The right caregiver
Don’t forget to assess your own particular capabilities in this equation. As a caregiver, your client or their family members may spend 10, 20 or more hours per week taking care of an aging parent. In addition to the mental load of providing care and possibly needing to work fewer or different hours, physical activities such as heavy lifting and turning can be extremely demanding on your clients, and they shouldn’t neglect themselves.
For home care, your clients may find someone through word of mouth, through local financial professionals who specialize in elder care or from a friend’s family with similar elder care issues, not to mention a private hiring agency or a social service agency.
9. Levels of care
There is a tremendous range of outside care available. Choosing the right method depends on personal preferences and affordability. If your clients are considering nursing homes as an option, make sure they find out which nursing homes best meet the most important needs of the parents. Ascertain the feasibility of paying nursing home costs, narrow down the best geographic location and tour chosen facilities unannounced at various times to make sure they serve as represented.
10. Keep tabs on their situation
Whether parents are being taken care of in their home or at a nursing home, they need to be monitored. It is recommended that clients make unannounced visits at different times, even if a great job of screening was done.
There are many ways that your clients can keep tabs on how their parents are doing besides living with them or visiting them in person. In addition to regular or daily telephone calls, they can enlist support from other family members, trusted neighbors and even the U.S. Postal Service Carrier Alert program.
With our aging population and unbelievable advancements in health care and technology, elder care is a fast-growing specialty that elite advisors may want to explore as a service line extension. They may also want to look seriously at developing a support network with elder care specialists.