Who’s On My Parents’ Team? 5 Advisors To Assist Your Senior Parent

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed about your aging mom’s many needs: Questions about finances, legal matters, health care, and senior living choices loom large. Fortunately, you’re not alone.

Call on the expertise of these senior living advisors as you survey your mom’s situation.

Elder Law Attorney: Focuses on senior-specific issues

Your mom may have a trusted attorney, and she may have her estate planned. Still, it may be worth talking with an attorney who focuses on elder law. Beyond setting up estate plans and powers of attorney, elder law attorneys are highly specialized in matters that affect seniors. They routinely navigate issues with medical coverage, Social Security and other government aid, elder rights, and more. They also can help develop a responsible plan for your mom’s finances, so as not to deplete all her resources at once.

Geriatric Care Manager: Assesses needs, care options

A geriatric care manager can take the guesswork out of senior care by assessing your mom’s current health status and providing guidance on the type of care she may need. You might meet with a care manager once to receive a general assessment and recommendations for senior living options. This way, you’ll avoid choosing the wrong type of senior living community and having to make a costly switch later on. You also can partner with a geriatric care manager on an ongoing basis. He or she can negotiate between your mom’s financial and health care partners and make sure doctors’ recommendations are carried out.

Retirement Tax Planner: Identifies deductions, benefits

As a senior, your mom is eligible for many tax benefits, such as deductions on medical expenses or paying little or no tax on the income from the sale of her home. It might be helpful to partner with a tax planner if you and your mom feel uninformed about these benefits. A tax planner also can help answer questions about Social Security.

Financial Advisor: Provides guidance on retirement plans, investments

Your mom’s financial advisor will know about her retirement plans and long-term investments. Some investments, such as IRAs, require withdrawals after a certain age, while others don’t. The financial advisor can instruct you and your mom about when to liquidate these accounts based on her needs and goals. The financial advisor also can coordinate with other financial partners, such as her insurance agent or personal banker.

Mediator: Addresses family, sibling disagreements

If you have adult siblings, disagreements over your mother’s care may arise. A mediator brings everyone to the table in a balanced, fair environment so that issues can be resolved in your mother’s best interest. A mediator can be especially helpful if your mom hasn’t named a power of attorney or if one sibling is taking on more of the care responsibilities.

Geriatric Specialist: Offers senior-specific health plans

A trusted doctor will be key as your mom ages, and she probably already has one in mind. Even so, a geriatric specialist may introduce your mom to a highly specialized level of care that is specific to her needs. Geriatric specialists take a holistic view of health, and will note your mom’s living situation, her physical limitations, her cognitive capabilities, and more. This wide-angle view helps these doctors spot and treat potential chronic issues.

To find senior care experts in your area, search professional associations for these advisors, such as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys or the Certified Financial Planning Board.


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