The circle of life gets hard to deal with when you have to watch your own parents decline with age. The strong and independent people who reared you now need with basic household and personal tasks.

It is important for all adults to prepare for assisting and advocating for their parents. The following tips may be helpful:

Learn their medical history

Knowing your parent’s medical history is important since this provides the blueprint for many care and treatment decisions that must be made. As your parent ages, there is a chance that this information will get muddled. Instead of trying to piece things together later, take the time now to write out a medical history. This could prove to be very helpful as you try to advocate for them.

Keep detailed records

Make sure that you know where your parent’s medical insurance cards are located. Keep track of doctor’s visits and what transpires at each. You can refer back to your notes and crosscheck any receipts or other documents if there is ever a question about what or when treatment was rendered. This information might even help you to resolve billing or benefit discrepancies with insurance companies.

Review parents’ estate plans

Your parents’ estate plan is important to review with your parents. Not only does this outline future estate disbursements, it also contains vital information about their wishes for end-of-life health care as well as the state of their finances. This can ensure that you are acting in accordance with those wishes when you have to step in for them. Make sure that you review the powers of attorney designations since those are important if your parents are no longer able to make decisions on their own.

Know where to find financial information

As your parents get older, you might have to help them manage their finances. Know where you can find their account information. Ideally, they will make a list for you of all the accounts they have, where they are located and any information that might be germane later. If you need to pay someone to care for them, you will know where to turn.