A Checklist for Aging Relatives

Caring for your aging parents starts with knowing how they want to be cared for. Use this checklist to ensure all their critical information is in one place.

Few of us realize how little we know about the details of our parents’ daily lives, until there’s an emergency that lands one of them in hospital. Suddenly there’s a scramble to find prescriptions for their glasses, the name of their doctors, and how to access critical legal and financial information on their laptops.

The panic and emotion can be significantly dialed down by proactively putting an aging plan in place. Having checklists for aging relatives – and one for ourselves for that matter – is something that's particularly useful if you live in the U.S. By the year 2030, Americans over 65 will make up 20% of the population, according to the Institute on Aging. Yet unlike many other nations, older Americans tend to live on their own. Today, about 27% of those over the age of 60 are living by themselves and while 46% are living as a couple, there are no other family members in the home.1  

Very often our families don’t live in the same town or even in the same state, so aging loved ones may need to rely on support from afar. That makes it all the more important to plan before issues become emergencies. Take time to sit down with your older relatives and document personal care needs, as well as the names of individuals with caring roles and other responsibilities. Also, ensure legal documents and medical directives are kept up to date, that key contacts and locations of documents are recorded, and that emergency plans are in order. Most importantly, share the information and make sure the directions are clearly defined and understood, with current providers identified and contact information readily accessible.   

Below is a list of information required for a basic aging plan, whether you’re developing one for a parent or for yourself. We’ve also included an aging checklist to demonstrate how everything can be clearly recorded in one place. One last thing: Don’t forget that Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules require consent to share the information.   

Relevant Documents and Information

Medical

  • Insurance information and directives
  • Wishes for long-term care
  • Providers’ contact information

Legal

  • Attorney’s name and contact information
  • Location of executed documents

Financial

  • Names and contact information of providers
  • Listing of financial accounts
  • List of passwords

Personal

  • Names and contact information for key contacts
  • Current services and providers’ contact information

 

Download our aging checklist template. 



 

  • Pew Research Center, March 2020.

  • This material is provided for illustrative/educational purposes only. This material is not intended to constitute legal, tax, investment or financial advice. Effort has been made to ensure that the material presented herein is accurate at the time of publication. However, this material is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area or of all of the tax, investment or financial options available. The information discussed herein may not be applicable to or appropriate for every investor and should be used only after consultation with professionals who have reviewed your specific situation. The Bank of New York Mellon, DIFC Branch (the “Authorised Firm”) is communicating these materials on behalf of The Bank of New York Mellon. The Bank of New York Mellon is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. This material is intended for Professional Clients only and no other person should act upon it. The Authorised Firm is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and is located at Dubai International Financial Centre, The Exchange Building 5 North, Level 6, Room 601, P.O. Box 506723, Dubai, UAE. The Bank of New York Mellon is supervised and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The Bank of New York Mellon London Branch is subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. The Bank of New York Mellon is incorporated with limited liability in the State of New York, USA. Head Office: 240 Greenwich Street, New York, NY, 10286, USA.  In the U.K. a number of the services associated with BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s Family Office Services– International are provided through The Bank of New York Mellon, London Branch, One Canada Square, London, E14 5AL. The London Branch is registered in England and Wales with FC No. 005522 and BR000818.  Investment management services are offered through BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited, BNY Mellon Centre, One Canada Square, London E14 5AL, which is registered in England No. 1118580 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Offshore trust and administration services are through BNY Mellon Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd.  This document is issued in the U.K. by The Bank of New York Mellon. In the United States the information provided within this document is for use by professional investors.  This material is a financial promotion in the UK and EMEA. This material, and the statements contained herein, are not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any products (including financial products) or services or to participate in any particular strategy mentioned and should not be construed as such. BNY Mellon Fund Services (Ireland) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (International) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Trademarks and logos belong to their respective owners. BNY Mellon Wealth Management conducts business through various operating subsidiaries of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. ©2021 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. All rights reserved.