The far-reaching effects of COVID-19 have likely yet to be seen. Seniors in particular are susceptible to the mortality rate of the virus. Because of this, many seniors have been under self- or government-imposed quarantine. For how long will this be the new norm? Will life ever return to the way it was?
It is important to help seniors battle social isolation, and to keep the interruptions in their community ties to a minimum. Be creative and figure out how to interact with seniors without putting them at risk of contracting the virus. Also help seniors minimize the interruption to their finances – help them figure out how to get their stimulus check, file for unemployment, or seek help with retirement planning.
It is also important for seniors to get their legal documents in order. Everyone needs to detail instructions regarding their health care wishes and who will carry out those health care decisions in the event they are incapacitated. Without these documents in place, a guardianship court proceeding may become necessary. This can be costly and time-consuming, and the court is in control of those decisions, not the senior. And of course, everyone should have a plan in place for their finances upon their death. Who does the senior want to inherit their property? Does the family even know what property the senior owns? Does the senior have any burial instructions?
Hopefully the COVID-19 pandemic will soon come to a close with a medical breakthrough or by other means. All that will remain is the lessons that we have learned and the resolve to move forward. Let’s help seniors transition through this difficult time by strengthening family and community ties, decreasing the financial impact of the pandemic, and getting their legal documents in place.