What is GO, you ask? Get Organized. Yes, January is national Get Organized Month. Here are five tips for getting organized for the coming year of caregiving.

  1. Find out what’s bugging your loved one. I discovered over the holidays that mom has been feeling guilty because she can’t make herself update information I’ll need when I take over as Power of Attorney. If you know what’s bothering your loved one, you may be able to make a plan to resolve the problem.
  1. Create a budget. Use your loved one’s 2016 bank statements to help create a 2017 budget for or with her. Do this to be sure she’ll have enough money to meet anticipated expenses. If the numbers don’t add up, find a financial advisor or accountant who can offer suggestions on ways to increase income and decrease expenses.
  1. Find an accountant. If your loved one needs or wants help completing her tax returns, act now to find an accountant. Because mom doesn’t drive anymore and doesn’t have a computer, I’m looking for one who makes house calls.
  1. Collect tax information. Start now to gather documents and information necessary to complete her 2016 taxes. For example, her pharmacy can give you a printout showing co-pays for prescription drugs. Bank statements will show how much she spent on health insurance and health care.

5. Make a list of home repairs. Mom and I know her front deck needs to be replaced. We’ll start interviewing repairmen now and schedule the work for spring or early summer.