This checklist is designed to serve as a reminder of medical, legal and financial concerns caregivers will need to consider when a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Referral to a physician (neurologist, psychiatrist or geriatrician) knowledgeable about patients disease
- Complete diagnostic work-up
- Discussion with the physician regarding what is happening and what to expect
- Regular medical checkups
- Determine the individual's current level of functioning
- Know patients medical history, medications and dosages
- Learn as much as you can about the disease and caregiving techniques specifically helpful in coping with this disease
- Identify/attend local support group meatings
- Attend caregiver training
- Develop knowledge of community resources
- Develop caregiving plans, including alternate plans for care of patient in the event of your illness
- Determine what you are emotionally/physically able to do. Arrange for additonal assistance through family, volunteers, respite care (home health care, adult day care or short-term respite care in a facility)
- Make the home safe for the patient (accident-proofing)
- Schedule regular medical care for yourself, reporting any changes in your health to your physician
- Determine if the patient needs assistance to manage his or her legal/financial affairs
- Consult an attorney knowledgeable in issues such as Medicaid, Medicare, Guardianships, Estate Planning, Trusts and Advanced Directaves
- Contact an attorney for advise regarding:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Surrogate Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- If documents have been prepared previously, know location and check that they are up to date wiht current state laws.
- Someone should assume the responsibility for:
- Checking Account (bill payments)
- Savings Account
- Other Assets (Money Market, Stocks, Bonds, CDs)
- Real Estate and other property (location of deeds)
- Safety Deposit Box -- Co-signer for box access (location of box and keys)
- Security Box or home sage (location and key/combination)
- Review and determine the location of all insurance policies (Medical, Disability, House, Car, Long Term Care, Life Insurance, Cancer Policy, VA.)
- Check for Waiver of Premium Clause on insurance policies
- Investigate patient's eligibility for financial assistance programs
- Determine the amount and source of all monthly income. Are any checks (Social Security, Retirement, etc.) sent via direct deposit?
- If the patient is reciving Social Security, do you want to be designated as the Representitive Payee?
- Know previously made arrangements for cemetery lot, funeral, etc.
- Are wishes known regarding burial/cremation?
- Autopsy arrangements
- Driving (You must judge when the patient can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle.)