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NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Seniors - Health - Parents - Special Needs - Retirement

Caring For Elderly Parents

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • Does your parent need help with grooming, bathing, or dressing?
  • Does your parent need help with housekeeping, shopping, or yard work?
  • Does your friend need help planning or preparing meals?
  • Is your parent unable to drive or get around on public transportation alone?
  • Does your parent need help managing finances and paying bills?
  • Does your parent need help making legal and other important decisions?
  • Does your parent have trouble functioning at home? Would modifications help?
  • Does your parent have trouble with hearing, vision, or memory?


  • financial power of attorney to make financial decisions and pay bills
  • living will to make life-support decisions
  • medical power of attorney to make health care decisions
  • durable power of attorney to make legal decisions
  • access to safe deposit box
  • may choose to be added to deeds and mortgages
  • may need to be added to automobile insurance
  • know the person's wishes (medical treatments, funeral, finances, etc.)


  • insurance (Medicare / Medicaid number, supplement, other policies)
  • doctors (names, phone numbers, and other contact information)
  • medical history (medications, allergies, conditions, procedures)
  • identification (social security, military ID, driver's license numbers)
  • address list (friends, neighbors, family)
  • service providers (attorney, financial advisor, clergy, accountant)
  • financial (account numbers, checkbook, investments, tax records)
  • legal (wills, powers of attorney, health care directive)
  • deeds (house, other property, car title, boat title)
  • insurance (life, medical, auto, homeowner's)
  • household (mortgage, apartment lease, property tax records)
  • vital records (birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree)
  • final wishes (organ donation, burial, property distribution)


  • respect your parent's independence, even while taking care of them
  • allow your parent to make as many decisions as appropriate
  • have reasonable expectations of what your parent can do independently
  • talk regularly with your parent about their concerns, desires, and frustrations
  • make informed decisions that are in the best interest of your parent's needs
  • show compassion while you are trying to be efficient and responsible


  • recognize when you are getting worn out and need a break
  • make use of support groups, family, and other caregivers in your situation
  • take regular breaks to do something enjoyable for yourself


Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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