The 10 Most Important Documents that Every Caregiver Should Have
For the many adults today who are acting as caregivers to their senior parents, the art of caregiving comes with a great deal of responsibility. In addition to providing day-to-day support and care, familial caregivers also need to be prepared to handle emergency situations should they arise. There are a number of important documents that most seniors have and that they may need should an emergency arise. Every caregiver should be prepared with these documents and make sure that they know exactly where these documents are should they need them in the future.
Here is a list of the ten most important documents that every child caregiver should be able to access in case of an emergency.
- Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate- These documents are actually very important and also often misplaced. Make sure to keep them in a safe location or a safety deposit box once they are located.
- Driver’s License and Social Security Cards- Most seniors who have caregivers don’t drive anymore and don’t carry around a wallet with their Social Security card. Keeping these documents on file can help you and your loved one out in case of an emergency.
- Insurance Coverage Card- Should your loved one need emergency medical care, an insurance coverage card would be of great importance. This coverage may also come in the form of a Medicare or Medicaid card.
- Organ Donor Information- While no one ever wants to think about their loved one passing away, if they are an organ donor, you will need to know where this information is, should the hospital need your loved one’s organs.
- Mortgage Information- In the event where your loved one is no longer able to pay for their mortgage or take care of their mortgage, you will need to make sure that you have documentation on their property and information on how to sell or make payments on that property.
- Legal Power of Attorney and Will- Whether your loved one has a power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy or Living Will, these are all important pieces of information that give direction and insight should your loved one be rendered unable to make decisions on their own. You need to know what their wishes are and where the official documents dictating their wishes are stored.
- Safety Deposit Box Information- All seniors should not only have a safe-deposit box and a key but a list of the contents of that box as well as a directive that has the names and information of anyone who has access to that box.
- Financial Information- This includes trusts banking information, loan documents and details about stocks, bonds and other investments.
- Burial Plot and Funeral Information- Most seniors will already have a burial plot in place long before they pass. It is important to know where this plot is and to access any information your senior loved one may have left behind about their funeral wishes or intentions.
- Insurance Information- Make sure that you not only have copies of your loved one’s insurance policies, including their life insurance policy, but information on how to contact all of their insurance agents.
These documents are some of the most important pieces of information any person can own. Knowing where these documents are and how to locate them can make life easier for seniors, their families and their caregivers should an emergency ever take place.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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