Courtesy of your Melbourne FL senior health care specialists, the following are suggestions on the types of questions you should ask your elderly parents concerning long-term and end-of-life decisions. Planning ahead is the smart way to go, even though that means asking questions you may not wish to address yet.

If you can’t take care of yourself any longer, what living situations do you prefer?

Using in-home caregivers can be extremely helpful for some families. Be aware that 24/7 care most likely means high costs. Review the option of assisted living and other facilities, if appropriate. Make sure you know your parents’ preferences so you and your parents can make the best decisions. It is smart to research and visit senior centers in the area so you and your parents can have accurate information.

Where do you keep important medications and documents?

Organizing a current or new home, as well as downsizing into a new residence, relieves stress for you and your parents. Knowing where the specific location is for important medications and documents ahead of time saves valuable effort and time when emergency situations crop up. Store personal documents in a safe deposit box, and give the key to a trusted family member.

Does your health insurance cover long-term care? Do you have a financial plan?

The need for caregiving increases as parents age. That includes doctor visits, physical therapy, hospitals, in-home caregivers, health insurance, and health care costs. Knowing exactly what your parents’ insurance covers eases the stress and helps you make appropriate health care decisions. Set aside time to meet with a financial planner, who can review your options and circumstances.

Do you have end-of-life wishes?

It may be difficult to discuss, but it’s necessary. Talking about hypothetical situations early on will ease the decision-making process when you and your family are in a time of crisis. Knowing what measures your parent would like to take if they become terminally ill will prepare you to handle any unforeseen circumstances. If they would like to review the possibility of a living trust or will, finding a trustworthy legal aid will ease the process.