Many people do all the right things to prepare for their possible incapacity. They create a Trust, nominate Medical and Durable Powers of Attorney, draft a Will and create a Living Will. They may even discuss their wishes with the person(s) nominated in these documents. Then, when the day comes for the nominee to step in and act, there is often a look of confusion in the nominee’s eyes. What do I do first? Where should my parents live? How do I get them to bathe, to accept help, to stop driving? What about the mail, the bills, the unexplained cash withdrawals? These questions are just part of the responsibilities in assuming the role of POA or Trustee.

Fortunately there are resources to assist the nominee in assuming the legal role and assist their parent. The attorney who drafted the documents may be a resource when trying to determine a parent’s wishes. The parent’s accountant should be able to assist in locating a parent’s assets and the status of their taxes. Another resource that can assist with the care of a parent is a Nurse Care Manager. These professionals are typically well versed in the care needs of an older adult and the local resources available. They can assist the Medical Power of Attorney in determining the current care needs of their parent and an appropriate Plan of Care to provide assistance while staying within the parent’s financial budget. The Nurse Care Manager can also assist with providing a longer term plan so preparation for the future can be done. This is especially important when a parent has limited resources, which most people do.

When choosing a Nurse Care Manager, get referrals from a trusted source: an attorney, a financial planner, a banker, an accountant. You can also find local Nurse Care Managers at When you contact the Nurse Care Manager, interview them. Talk to them about you parent’s situation and the current issues of concern. Also ask about the cost of services and the time it will take to complete an initial assessment.

Assisting your parent(s) can be an overwhelming job. Ask for help from trusted resources and work together as a team. Together you can make a positive difference for your parent.