Recently, Governor Newsom announced that 52 of California’s 58 counties have moved to Stage 3 reopening and that statewide, COVID-19 numbers appear to be improving. While these developments are encouraging, health officials still recommend that those over 65 maintain efforts to avoid exposure. These circumstances can be challenging, and people in this situation may need more support during this time. Here are some ways of helping elderly loved ones during the pandemic.

Social Isolation and Loneliness

One of the primary issues elderly individuals have to confront during social isolation is loneliness. Although logically, members of a higher risk category should stay away from other people, not being around friends and family can lead to anxiety and depression. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recommends creating an emergency call list for isolated loved ones so that they know whom to contact if there is an issue. AARP also recommends having a social call list to provide them with a way to feel more connected with friends and family. Setting up a call schedule is another way you can help your loved one feel less alone. You can also use email and text messaging to communicate throughout the day. There is no substitute for in-person contact, but it’s possible to connect with today’s technology in personal ways. Depending on your loved one’s comfort level, you could use applications such as Facetime and Zoom to visually check-in with them and help them feel less alone. The efforts you make to stay in contact with your loved one during this time can make a world of difference.

Connect with Community Resources

Since the outbreak, several community organizations have mobilized to support seniors who are restricted to their homes. For instance, faith-based and neighborhood groups are volunteering locally to take care of tasks such as lawn care and grocery shopping for elderly community members. There are government resources available for this population, and area non-profits are also providing some services. Checking social media and government webpages can provide useful information and links to several groups in your loved one’s community.

Help Them with Advance Planning

  • California Advance Health Care Directive

    If your loved one has not taken steps to safeguard his or her health care in the event of incapacitation, now is the time. Anyone can be impacted by an accident or sudden illness, even if it is not COVID-19. If your loved one is hurt or becomes ill and cannot communicate, their health care providers will need treatment information. A California Advance Health Care Directive allows them to leave instructions for their medical treatment providers. The device also provides a way for your loved one to name the medical decision-maker of their choice. Without this essential document, critical, life-altering decisions about your loved one’s health could be delayed by probate court proceedings.

Power of Attorney for Finances

  • Just as your loved one should have plans for his or her health care, they should also have preparations for their finances. If your loved one were to become incapable of controlling his or her financial interests, they would need someone to step in and manage their funds. By using a power of attorney for finances, your loved one can designate someone now to assume specific responsibilities if the need arises. This legal instrument can be as broad or limited as its creator decides. For example, if your loved one wants to designate you to receive his pension check and pay his bills, and invest in the stock market, he can structure the power of attorney document to reflect those terms. However, he could also limit his power of attorney to you receiving certain funds and placing them in savings.

By talking with your loved one about a California Advance Health Care Directive and a power of attorney for finances, you can help them understand more about these critical devices. Next, your loved one will need to consult with an experienced California estate planning attorney so that they can protect their health and financial interests.

At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are experienced California Elder law and estate planning attorneys who can help with all of your loved one’s estate planning needs. Please contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation today and start your solution. https://www.salvolaw.com/