From new years’ resolutions to year-end planning, this is the time to think about getting organized and properly prepared for 2013. When it comes to eldercare and health care issues, there is a lot you can do to be prepared and a little bit of effort and time now can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
Now is a great time to do a quick “self assessment” of your caregiver readiness. Here are a few steps we recommend in that assessment:
- Review and organize the “important papers”. Do you have the legal paperwork necessary to step in and care for an elder loved one (or any adult loved ones or friends who wish you to help)? How long has it been since this paperwork was completed/reviewed? It may be time for a review appointment with the attorney. Also, make sure necessary papers are accessible, including insurance cards, legal documents and a list of key contacts.
- Do you have some “go to” resources “in your back pocket”? Who would you call if your Mom fell and was hospitalized? What would you do if Dad needed a rehabilitation facility after surgery? How would you locate transportation or medication management services in your grandmother’s community?
- Make a list of your key issues and concerns and consider scheduling a geriatric care management consultation to review these and get ideas. The geriatric care manager can help you with immediate resources and longer term planning/ideas. A quick and easy care consultation can remove a huge weight from your shoulders, giving you options, prioritizing needs and reassuring you about the job you are doing.
- Consider bringing in a little extra help. By introducing assistance early and for household types of tasks (extra help with shopping at the holidays for example), you and your loved one can get comfortable with a company and caregivers that may become necessary for more assistance down the road. Check out EasyLiving home healthcare gift certificates to provide the gift of assistance.
For a complete checklist, grab your free copy of our Essential Eldercare Checklist!
Who would benefit from a care consultation? If:
- You have an older loved one who has increasing health issues or a major new diagnosis.
- You are providing care currently to an aging or disabled loved one.
- You are concerned about your own health issues or want to look at future options such as what type of care you can afford or moving to a retirement community.
- Your family is in disagreement over a loved one’s care or you have long-term family conflict which you know will be an issue in coming together to care for an aging parent.
- You’re trying to figure out retirement health insurance options or understand medical and long-term care coverage.
- You care for a disabled adult child or family member–and want to get organized and consider future plans as you age.
- You spotted some concerns during a recent visit and don’t know where to begin (or got nowhere when you tried to bring up your concerns with your elderly loved one or other family members).
- You or a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, progressive diseases like M.S. or Parkinson’s.
- You have a specific healthcare issue or eldercare concern that you seem unable to resolve or find help/resources to address properly.
Aging Wisely’s eldercare consultations and geriatric assessments are two of our most popular services. Whatever stage a family member is at in their eldercare journey, the advice from a seasoned professional can make the path smoother. As a caregiver, the anxiety of the unknown and the fear of that emergency phone call are some of the most stressful aspects of caregiving (and for some, the surprising start to being a caregiver). You can reduce the anxiety of the unknown by marshaling some resources, having a general understanding of options, and prioritizing steps you can take now.
If you are facing any of the above situations, call Sue Talbott at 727-447-5845 (or click below) to book a consultation or just ask a question. Care consultations can be done in our office or via phone or Skype, at your convenience.