Written permission needed for help
To all of you that are caretakers, you need to make sure that you have on file with social security and all insurance companies, and medical offices a signed authoriztion from the parent authorizing them to release information to the caretaker. Both Social Security and most insurances have that form. You need to get these signed while the parent is alert to what they are signing. Also make sure that you are on the bank account, as a joint signer, not as trust. Keep this account seperate from your account. IRS likes seperate accounts.
Bills need to be paid etc, even after they pass away. Check with your bank.
If the parent get angry, and many times they do, YOU take charge. Explain that you need these forms signed to protect them. Without these forms HEPPA laws forbid any information to be released. If you have any questions, talk to the social security office (not just on the phone), talk to the social service at the hospital, and even a lawyer specializing in Elder law. Most cities have Senior Centers and/or Adult Care center for further information. Find out as much as you can before a problem occurs. Line up your resources first, keep a file, and remember when the parent becomes hard to handle GET HELP. Many things are free--just ask.