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(NEWS CENTER) -- With an aging population across the nation and 17 percent of Maine's population 65 years or older, it's important to figure out the best needs of the elderly for safety and health. Clarice Dowdle has spent time a lot of time dealing with her own parents and wrote "Time for the Talk: The Ten Step Plan for Effective Senior Caregiving Today." She said she has found that having a pre-aging agreement is helpful with planning and determining aging parents' future. An pre-aging agreement is a non-legal document that takes the steps of aging in an organized fashion. Dowdle said it gets everybody in the family on the same page.

Pre-aging agreement organizes steps of growing old

Four parts of the agreement:

1. Wishes/Issues: This ensures the overall happiness of the individual over the years. It addresses what the senior wants and how to get there.

2. Living Situation: This requires looking at the current situation, the future situation and what to do in an emergency. Important questions to ask include safety, especially with less mobile seniors.

3. Support Team: Address who is the main and secondary caregiver, as well as neighbors or friends that can help. It should address who will help with the cooking, moving and transportation needs.

Pre-aging agreement organizes steps of growing old, part two

4. Medical Assessment: Children should know all the doctors and their phone numbers for their elderly parents. It's also necessary to have a list of medications and contact information for the pharmacy.

5. Legal Documents: Keeping the power of attorney, wills, marriage or morgate uinformation needs to be updated and in one place. It is important that at least two people know where the documents are located.

6. Financial Review: Planning out a monthly budget based on savings, pensions, 401k, Medicare or Medicaid is necessary so elderly parents have enough to survive on and still live a comfortable life.

7. Death and Dying: This can be very difficult to talk about, but determining funeral arrangements is not only helpful, but can be important to elderly people.

8. Review and Implement: Have all of this information written down and in a safe place can give peace of mind to all parties. Reviewing it every few years is also keeps everybody on the same page.

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