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Caring for mom, dad, older adults: Ten key pieces of information you need

Written by Diane Archer

Whether you care about your mom, dad or other loved ones, you want to be sure that the older adults in your life are safe in an emergency and that someone they trust is keeping track of key information for their health and wellness. Of course, much of this information is personal, so even your mom or dad may not want to share it with you. You should help them understand that the information can be critical in a crisis, when they cannot act on their own–whether they are aging in place, in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Here are ten key pieces of information family caregivers need:

  1. A list of the key people in their social network, including family members, friends and neighbors, both people who can pay a visit and people who speak to them by phone
  2. Doctor and pharmacy contacts
  3. Social Security information, including their Social Security number
  4. Medicare and supplemental health insurance policy numbers and contacts
  5. Medical records, including medical history, chronic conditions, allergies, and a list of all the medications they take, both prescription and over-the-counter
  6. Financial information
    • Names of all financial institutions at which they keep their money and contacts
    • Checking and savings accounts
    • Brokerage and retirement accounts
    • Credit card accounts
    • Financial adviser and  accountant contacts
    • Where to find keys to lock boxes and/or how to open a safe in their homes
  7. Legal information, including a copy of their will, power of attorney, living will and health care proxy, if they have them, as well as the name and contact information for their lawyer, if they have one.
  8. Life insurance and other insurance policies and contacts
  9. Mortgage and/or rent information, as well as the car title and the deed to their home if they own it
  10. Utility providers and contacts
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