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Professional Resources for Caregivers - Aging Wisely

Our last post addressed Different Types of Resources to Assist Caregivers with specific situations. We will continue here with some of the concerns we hear from caregivers and some professional services available to help if you encounter these issues as a family elder caregiver.

Problem: Sibling Disagreement, Family Conflict
Resource: Geriatric Care Managers & Family Mediators. A geriatric care manager can perform a comprehensive assessment and work with family members on options and compromises. An geriatric assessment provides a thorough picture of the situation from a neutral party, professional expertise/recommendations and a roadmap that may help the parties move forward. Some situations require mediation, in which a neutral party (a trained mediator) helps parties work towards an informal dispute settlement. Aging Wisely’s care manager, Robin Dunlap, has completed a training program for the Florida Supreme Court family mediator certification so that Aging Wisely might be able to assist families when this need arises.

Problem: Decision Making & Legal Authority
Resource: Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorneys. If your loved one has not completed advance directives and estate planning documents, this is a vital step in planning for illness or possible incapacity. Aging Wisely can make a recommendation to a local Tampa/Pinellas County elder law or estate planning attorney if you need assistance. You may also need the services of an experienced attorney if your loved one has not appointed someone to make decisions and may have limited capacity now. An attorney can explain the options and help with the guardianship process if necessary. If your loved one has provided you with decision making authority and you are having difficulty getting information from various parties, you may wish to read our handout “Getting Answers about Your Loved One’s Care“.

Problem: Cognitive Issues
Resource: Geriatric specialists, such as neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists, memory clinics and groups like the Alzheimer’s Association.
If you are concerned about some changes in your loved one, the first step is to get a good diagnostic workup done. This will help you determine your loved one’s current level of functioning and thus what might be needed now and in the future, as well as provide some certainty about the situation. As a starting point, review our handout “Memory Loss: Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Old Age-What is it?” and contact us if you need resources in the Pinellas County and Tampa Bay area.

As a family caregiver, the issues you face are personal. However, that doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. When you run in to a roadblock, you may be surprised to find there is a resource or solution to help. Our goal is to simplify things for you…so if you are running in to such a roadblock, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your concerns. We work with an excellent network of resources throughout the community and have been involved in elder advocacy for many years, so we’re often aware of unique solutions.

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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.