Aging Life Care Managers – Experts in Aging and Organizing


Older adult children working from home have been contacting Aging Life Care Managers such as those at Careplan Care Managers in Cleveland, Ohio to get organized. Children are taking advantage of the extra time to get their elderly parents’ health and personal matters organized. This is beneficial in the event of an unfortunate event.

Karen McGinty of Medina, Ohio a school principal states “now is the perfect time to get the essential”crisis” paperwork in order”. “I should have done this sooner but there was never a good time. My Aging Life Care Manager was so knowledgeable and helpful she made the process so easy”.

How to get organized and what is considered “crisis” paperwork?

Crisis paperwork includes those documents that in a crisis will help advocate and ensure client wishes are honored. As an Aging Life Care Manager-Licensed Social Worker, I have seen tremendous confusion and concerns rise when a crisis occurs. This is an issue when necessary documents have not been executed or never completed.

During a crisis, emotions are already running high and stress is inevitable. Careplan suggests making it easier for you and/or your loved ones by identifying and completing your crisis paperwork now. Get organized by designating a space for these away from other miscellaneous papers. An Aging Life Care Manager can assist in completing documents. Place them in an Emergency Binder in the event that they are needed. An Aging Life Care Manager will also keep a copy on file. They can be available to meet the older adult in the hospital or home in times of emergency.

Here are the healthcare documents elderly parents need to organize their life for a crisis: Essential Documents as Recommended by An Aging Life Care Manager

There are eight documents you’ll need to access your parents’ medical information and related financial information:

  • HIPAA authorization

    This allows physicians and other healthcare providers to share information with you. If there is information your parents do not wish to share, they can indicate that on the form. You can find generic HIPAA forms online or get one from your primary care physician.

  • Advance directive

    An advance directive, which is sometimes also called a living will, outlines what medical care you do and do not want if you are dying or not expected to regain consciousness and under what circumstances these decisions should be applied. For example, do your parents want to undergo CPR or defibrillation if their heart stops. Do they wish to be put on a ventilator or have a feeding tube? Your parents can write their own advance directive. Templates are available from their physician, a lawyer can draw up the document. Forms are also available from their state’s health department or department on aging.

  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare

    This indicates who you would like to have the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. This person is called a healthcare proxy. Parents can indicate whether they want their proxy to be able to make all medical decisions or just specific ones.

  • Durable power of attorney

    This allows you to make financial decisions on your parents’ behalf, pay bills, and access financial information, including talking with health insurers, long-term care insurance providers, and hospital and healthcare provider’s billing departments.

  • Comprehensive medical record

    Having an up-to-date, easily accessible, comprehensive medical record is especially important if your parents are being treated for several health issues. People with multiple health issues often see several specialists in addition to their primary care doctor. Becuase of this they may be prescribed medications by multiple physicians. Their medical record can help make sure that key information is available to everyone who treats them. It can also lower the risk of overtreatment, duplicate diagnostic testing, prescription drug interactions. It can also prevent the prescription of duplicate or no longer needed medications.

  • Do not resuscitate and/or do not intubate order, if desired

    While this information is often included in an advance directive, if your parents do not want to be resuscitated in the event their heart stops or put on a ventilator, it can be helpful to have a separate order that is shared with their physicians, EMTs, hospital and other healthcare facility staff, and staff at any senior living or rehabilitation facility.

  • Medicare, supplemental, and long-term care insurance policy information

    You need the policy numbers and customer service phone numbers for these insurance policies so you can review coverage, file, check, and dispute claims, and pay premiums on your parents’ behalf.

  • Letter of instruction

    This document details end of life wishes, for example, funeral and/or memorial service arrangements, burial or cremation plans, and organ and tissue donation. A letter of instruction also often includes important financial information. This may include the location of the will and any safe deposit boxes, bank, investment, and retirement account locations and numbers. It may also include PIN numbers and passwords for banking and investment accounts, life insurance information, and a list of financial and legal advisors’ contact information.

With these documents, you’ll be able to help your parents get organized. In addition, you will be able to help them navigate the healthcare system and support them. Have questions on any of the listed forms or documents? Reach out to the experts at