Survey: Most Baby Boomers Lack a Plan to Care for Parents

Most baby boomers say that they are prepared to be caregivers to their parents, but over half of the baby boomers do not know certain basics to caregiving. Most can’t name their parents’ medications or, if need be, know where to access vital financial information for them.

A majority of Baby Boomers say they are likely to become caregivers for their parents, but only half can name any medications their parents take, a new survey shows.

The survey of 600 adults ages 45 to 65, conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network, also found:

•31% don’t know how many medications their parents take.

•34% don’t know whether their parents have a safe deposit box or where the key is.

•36% don’t know where their parents’ financial information is located.

“The majority of caregivers we work with have done no advance planning,” says Jeff Huber, president of Home Instead Senior Care, a company that provides non-medical care services. “It is not important until it’s urgent. So much stress and uncertainty down the road can be prevented.”

Lack of planning can lead to serious complications when decisions need to be made quickly, says palliative care nurse practitioner Mimi Mahon, an associate professor at George Mason University in Virginia. “It’s vitally important to plan ahead and have these conversations with parents, or families can act out of fear and make mistakes when emergencies arise.”

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