There are many difficult and puzzling problems facing senior citizens today, including issues of health and finances and the determination to remain independent. There are many places to look for solutions here in the Raleigh – Durham community.
Choosing Trusted Assistance:
The first step to assure that an elderly person retains independence and self-determination is to pick one or more trusted people who will assist in maintaining as much independence as possible and then will continue to act to carry out the person’s wishes even when he or she is not able to manage. That person can be a family member, a friend, a lawyer, a financial advisor, but it should be someone who will not substitute his own judgment and agenda.
Drafting Documents to Authorize Effective Assistance:
Once you have chosen a trusted person to provide assistance for health and financial matters, you need to document your decisions legally. Drafting a health care power of attorney and a general durable power of attorney can assure that you have the help and the care that you choose. Documents drafted ahead of time protect you. They can avoid or minimize family disputes that can cost money and time and create heartache. If you are concerned about an elderly family member who has not made these decisions, offer assistance with preventing problems by getting expert assistance as soon as possible.
Building a Team of Experts:
Every Senior should have a team of experts to call on for advice and trustworthy assistance in times of stress. You should get to know your lawyer, your banker, your financial adviser, your accountant and your doctor before a crisis comes up. We are all here to help people through the challenges of life and appreciate being trusted and called upon. You will feel safer with a team behind you that you can trust to think clearly and advise well.
Obtaining Assistance for Seniors in the Raleigh-Durham Community:
There are many government, community and church programs that provide assistance to seniors facing troubles they cannot handle on their own. It can take some research to find the right help, but the search can result in much needed help.
Many of these programs can be found in publications put out by local organizations:
- Directory of Resource for Older Adults in Wake County, published by Resources for Seniors, Inc., 919 872-7933;
- Senior Citizens Handbook, published by the Law and Aging Committee, Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association, 800 662-7407;
There are many resources to help Seniors weather whatever crisis may occur. It is good to become knowledgeable in advance.
This is information, not legal advice. We are offering some general information on a topic that may be of interest. This is not legal advice. Your circumstances will be different from anyone else’s. If you have questions about a specific issue, please call our office and make an appointment for a consultation. We will be very happy to work with you.