If you have a loved one who was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness — such as inoperable cancer or Alzheimer’s disease — your life has been turned upside down. Even if your family member struggled with their health prior to the diagnosis, it doesn’t make the situation any easier. In addition to coping with the sadness and anxiety of this difficult time, your loved one will likely need support in preparing for the future financially. This is especially true if the illness came on suddenly or at a younger age.
Elite Home Health & Hospice shares four things that you can do to provide support and assistance to your terminally ill family member.
Handle all tasks and communication with the utmost compassion
Above and beyond anything, show the highest degree of compassion and care in all interactions. As you handle tasks that can be emotional for both you and your family member, be aware of how you are communicating. Avoid showing too little emotion, as this can come off as unfeeling and hurtful. Aim to be a steady source of confidence and love through these challenging end-of-life tasks.
Find ways to help your family member pay for their medical bills
Expenses associated with terminal illnesses are often astronomical. Bills that amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars are often commonplace in these situations. Medications that provide some level of relief from pain and suffering can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for every refill. At a time when your loved one is already experiencing such massive distress, the last thing they should have to think about is paying their medical bills.
If your loved one needs extra funds to pay for their prescriptions and medical care, there are options available for most individuals. One popular choice is home refinancing. Refinancing either your home — or your family member’s home — can quickly free up equity for immediate expenses. Research the best refinance rates to ensure that this is the option for you.
Establish end-of-life arrangements
Another incredibly important set of tasks to handle as soon as possible are end-of-life arrangements. This includes everything from creating power of attorney, to planning and funding funeral arrangements. Most people plan to fund funeral arrangements via life insurance, though you may have to change policies after a diagnosis. In such an instance, it’s critical that you fully understand the terms of the new policy and make sure not to cancel the old policy until coverage begins.
When signing so many documents, one option to consider is using an online tool for digital signing. This makes it easier to provide legal signatures for important documents without having to worry about printing and mailing.
It’s also important to plan for or work through selling or closing a business your loved one owns. This can be a relatively simple matter if ownership is in a corporation held in stock. Other business structures can be more complex and may require legal assistance.
Of all of the things you will need to help your family member with, this will almost certainly be the most emotionally challenging. Prepare yourself for these tasks by reaching out to your support network of friends and relatives. Also, if you find yourself struggling most days, consider working with a counselor to cope with your feelings.
Ensure that their will is up-to-date
Revisiting your loved one’s will is a particularly critical task — especially if they have a considerable amount of assets. Without proper designations, some or all of their property could go to the state. Hire an experienced attorney to guarantee that the will is updated in such a way that is legally binding.
Although it can be next to impossible to think about anything other than your terminally ill loved one at this time, addressing the above tasks is an absolute must. Part of honoring your family member is doing everything you can to ensure that their last wishes and requests are granted. As difficult as that is, knowing you helped your loved one when they needed it most can be a great source of comfort in the years ahead.
For trusted home health, palliative care, and hospice servicer, visit Elite Home Health & Hospice today!