We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post, which is at no additional cost to you. :)
Are your senior parents still at the very independent stage or are you actively caring for elderly parents in your own home? Or are you, perhaps, overseeing them as they live in a care facility? I have the first two situations in my Sandwich Generation family .
Last month, as I sat in the urgent care clinic, waiting for my ankle X-ray that eventually led to the diagnosis of a 5th metatarsal fracture, I was thinking about all the forms I had to fill out each time I go to the doctors. Are you familiar with the section where they ask for the closest relative? For those of us who are single, we might automatically put our parents' names there, especially if they are active and/or live with us. May I suggest an alternative?
I always put the names of my adult kids there. I choose to do that because I know how worried my senior parent gets over anything that happens to me. That goes double if it is a medical emergency. It seems to hit our elderly parents harder than our kids, probably because:
- In their minds, we are their "babies" forever.
- They may feel so dependent on us it scares them to think of anything happening to us.
Our adult kids, on the other hand, are usually thrilled to be "in charge of us," if only for a day or so. 🙂 I list all of them if I can squish them in as, at any given moment, one or more of them can be in the midst of their own little crises such as sick kids, school field trips, work meetings, etc. Adding all their names give me plenty of cushion if I really need help. Plus, by having their names all listed, they should (no guarantee but I think it should satisfy the requirements of the HIPAA law???) have no problem getting information about me even if a different sibling is doing the actual communicating. That's a big help if there's ever a serious emergency.
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree, or have a different recommendation? As busy members of the Sandwich Generation juggling such issues as caring for elderly parents and being granny nannies and pappies, taking care of ourselves is not something we often think about. It's definitely important, however, to plan ahead for everyone, even ourselves.