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Aging Wisely May, 2009 | Aging Wisely

The "Boom" of Caregiving


I attended and exhibited at a recent “Florida Boomer Lifestyles” conference, geared towards businesses serving (or wanting to) serve Baby Boomers. Author Gail Sheehy did a great presentation about her personal experience caring for her ill husband, and the “predictable crisis of midlife” that is caregiving. See a recent article on Gail and her upcoming book on caregiving: Gail, the author of the widely read Passages will I am sure do a great job covering this important topic and key “passage” of midlife.

My other favorite book on this topic is Mothering Mother by Carol O’Dell. I especially like it because there are many “educational” caregiving books, but so few that tell the stories. Her book is told in a conversational tone with humor and personality. You will definitely laugh out loud and that is the medicine most caregivers could really use. She has great insights too for those of us who work with family caregivers, reminding us of what a caregiver may be feeling and going through and how to make it easier, not more difficult.

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Hurricane Preparedness for the Elderly and Disabled

As hurricane season nears, we at Aging Wisely begin preparing our clients for potential storms. We do a thorough review–if they are at home we make sure they are stocked up on supplies, make evacuation plans including alternative arrangements other than emergency shelters, assess their ability to self preserve in various level storms, and more. If they live in a care facility, we carefully review the facility’s plans and sometimes bolster our clients with additional supplies, etc.

If you have an elderly parent, a disabled friend, or are yourself experiencing chronic illness or dependent on medical care or technology…here is some food for thought when thinking about the upcoming season:

Do you realize emergency shelters (and special needs shelters) are the last resort option for evacuating? Shelters can only handle small % of residents, and individuals needing care or assistance are not really appropriate for shelters.

Do you know pet shelters are extremely limited in our area? Have you made arrangements for your pets, and stocked up supplies for them as well?

Would your elderly client or loved one be comfortable sleeping on a cot with hundreds of strangers nearby? Would he be able to take care of himself at home, if without electricity or services for ten days or more?

Is your friend who requires Oxygen or nebulizer treatments registered with the power company? Do they understand this does not guarantee power but helps companies prioritize?

Do you know the details of how your client’s assisted living deals with evacuation? How will they let you know what is happening? If they are in a non. evac zone what is their plan for other potential natural or manmade disasters? What do their generators power? Will they take in other residents/serve as an evac. site for other facilities?

Do you feel your loved one would be safe remaining at home, even during minor storms or disruptions (do they rely on services like Meals on Wheels, caregivers, transportation?; are they mildly confused?, do they have multiple medical conditions?)?

These are some questions to get you thinking about vulnerability during storms and other disasters. I will blog later on some resources, things to do to prepare, and how we help clients who are elderly or disabled to ensure the best possible plan in face of danger.

See also our disaster prep. info:

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Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.