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Elder Care Story: Managing Long-Distance Caregiving


client elder care plan

Today we share an elder care story from a long-time Aging Wisely client, in the words of her cousin who helps manage her elder care from a distance. Mary became a client back in the early 2000s, when our team was engaged to help with some planning decisions.

Joe Skalski, elder care from a distance

We’ll let Mary’s cousin, Joe Skalski, describe in his words why our elder care team was engaged and how we have helped:

I used Aging Wisely to help Mary back in the early 2000s to assist with some life decisions. Mary’s parents provided for her care well into their 80s, but then her father died followed by her Mom’s entry into an assisted living facility that specializes in care for Alzheimer’s patients. Mary had been so dependent on her Mom and Dad after the death of her husband decades ago.

As Mary’s parents aged, there was quite a gap in her care. Some family members have pitched in here and there to help out a great deal, but of course we all have our own lives to run as well, our own work that requires time and dedication, and our own immediate family members for whom we must also dedicate time and effort. Aging Wisely took care of getting Mary emotionally healthy to continue independent living and making sure some of her important needs were being addressed despite her disability and inability to meet certain needs on her own. 

Joe contacted Aging Wisely again in 2013 to provide supportive services to ensure Mary could continue living independently, while staying safe and healthy. She has a local family caregiver who takes her to medical appointments and EasyLiving caregivers, arranged by her elder care manager, who visit twice/week for some household and personal care tasks, socialization and transportation. When Joe contacted Aging Wisely this time for services, he was particularly concerned about her transportation needs, ensuring she got her medications and was taking them properly and the need to develop a system for her spending money needs beyond what her food stamps covered.

Whether it came to getting her a podiatrist who does home visits, making sure her laundry is done or having someone assist her with grocery shopping, I can rest assured that my cousin is being taken care of despite the 500 miles that separate us.

As our elder care team works with clients in many different situations, our goal is always to increase the client’s (and family’s ) quality of life. This means different solutions for different people, but also a focus in the way we interact with clients and the expectations we set (and advocacy to ensure ongoing quality) for those who are engaged to assist them (be it their household help, elder care staff, medical providers or assisted living staff). This focus means we often hear the kind of feedback Joe mentions below.

Mary consistently gives me great feedback on her interactions with Aging Wisely staff and the personal care helpers they have coordinated for her.

The end result is a more positive experience of life in general, the ability to live the fullest life possible despite health issues or other limitations. We’re pleased to hear Joe’s description of how this has worked for Mary:

She has gone from a state of constant fear for the future to one where she looks forward with a degree of confidence she never had before. 

For the concerned family member like Joe, the result is peace of mind. Our elder care team prides themselves on communication, and each client care plan lays out how and when we should communicate with involved family members or other caregivers as well as expectations for visiting and emergency response, goals and plan.

As Joe shares, Their regularity of reporting to me has been quite a comfort.

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Mission Statement

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.