The sunshine state has long attracted seniors who move to Florida for the weather and lifestyle after retirement.
U.S. News and World Report listed Clearwater as second on its Top 10 Oldest Cities in America list. The most rapidly expanding segment of this population is in the 85 and older age group, at which point many seniors have health concerns and may begin to need some assistance. Since many seniors retired to Florida from elsewhere, there is a large population without local family members, especially adult children. At Aging Wisely, we work with these clients every day. We hear from their concerned families who live elsewhere and want to ensure Mom or Dad is safe and healthy. We hear the anxiety they feel being at a distance and trying to assist from afar.
If you are one of those family caregivers, you should check out EasyLiving’s Checklist for Long-Distance Caregivers when you are planning a visit. This tool will give you some steps to take to prepare for your visit and make the best use of your time, as well as how to start navigating eldercare services and locating Florida senior services.
Wondering what warning signs to watch for in aging loved ones? What might indicate a need for senior services for your elderly parent?
Because of the large numbers of seniors in the state, Florida has a wide array of senior care services, including public/governmental programs, non-profit organizations and senior service companies of all types. Some of the senior services that may be particularly useful for families at a distance and elders wishing to remain independent include:
Geriatric Care Management–for a baseline assessment and recommendations, to serve as your eyes and ears and an emergency contact locally for your loved one, and for patient advocacy services such as attending medical appointments or intervening at a hospitalization.
Senior Home Companions-for helping around the house and running errands, assisting with transportation and ensuring healthy nutrition.
Meal Preparation or Delivery Services-this could be done via a private caregiver or a meal delivery service such as Meals on Wheels or a frozen-meal delivery company. Having a Meals on Wheels representative checking in or a home caregiver visiting adds an extra connection of someone checking in on your loved one.
Personal Emergency Response Systems-provide a quick and easy way for your loved one to get help in an emergency. More sophisticated monitoring systems and systems which help with medication management can really extend a senior’s ability to remain at home safely.
If you need personal help accessing Florida senior services or finding out what would be most helpful for your aging parent, contact us to schedule a geriatric care consultation!