Planning The Elder Care Journey
CarePatrol of Baltimore
Everyone has a journey. Aging is part of the human experience and we’ve not yet found any loopholes that escape us from this journey. Whether you’re managing your own, or a loved one’s elder transition, the best advice anyone can give to you is to be prepared.
Care Patrol believes in this so much that one franchise gives out copies of “The Elder Care Ready Book” by Stuart Furman, Esq. A practicing elder law attorney, Furman has published a guide to help people navigate the elder care journey in a way that involves planning, foresight, organization and deliberate discussion. Furman’s mantra, preparation relieves anxiety and stress, is something we at CarePatrol can get behind. Due diligence is better for the family, better for the senior, and it’s what our company is all about. (1)
Furman outlines his case well. The Elder Care Journey must be approached in an organized and logical manner to minimize emotions and smooth the transition into new care-giving environments. Planning includes a range of necessary steps, from financial to legal, personal preferences to belongings and pets. The Elder Care Journey covers the many things a family must consider. This article pulls together the big items.
“Preparing can eliminate much of the uncertainty that can accompany eldercare responsibilities.” Stuart Furman, Esq.
First and foremost – do it now. Do not procrastinate. Prepare early while your elder is competent and can discuss wishes. Also, make sure you have a complete picture of options. Don’t assume communities or doctors are giving you all available options. Get second opinions from experts, like CarePatrol, when you are in a crisis or when you are researching ahead of time.
Equally important, keep your elder’s information and documentation at hand. Emergencies happen and it doesn’t do good to have documentation locked up in a bank deposit box if the emergency happens to be on a Sunday. Identify medical needs such as a complete list of medications and doses, any implants such as pacemaker or replaced joints, assistive devices like hearing aides or walkers, and a list of all care providers and contact information.
Ask the experts. Consult an elder law attorney to make sure paperwork, like power of attorney and advance directives, is adequate. Oftentimes forms presented online are sorely inadequate. And remember, different states have different rules and regulations. Senior placement agencies also come in all shapes and sizes with some being only national online resource lists with no insight as to what an actual facility is like. A locally-based placement agency, like Care Patrol, that has toured each and every recommended facility, can help navigate the priorities and needs of the elder and the family. Touring facilities before the need arises allows the elder to weigh in with their wishes, and often brings comfort in knowing that there is a plan.
Plan for emergencies like hurricanes, evacuations, fires, or other acts of God that require one to be prepared! Where will the elder go for temporary housing? Is there enough medication on hand? What valuables need to be accounted for? What happens if something happens to you? What is the chain of responsibility surrounding your elder? Identify ahead of time the hospital of choice, the assisted living community of choice or as a last resort, a nursing home of choice.
The Elder Care Ready Book does a great job of outlining the various things a family needs to be prepared for along the elder journey. Your placement professional can assist you in touring and evaluating assisted living facilities, give recommendations on nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and provide overall recommendations for care ahead of time. Your placement agency can also assist families who are unprepared and need to make quick decisions to meet the needs of an emergency situation.
As preparation is the key to the most successful transitions, the fact that you are reading this post suggests you are ready to get started. Call us today to talk through your concerns and possible needs. We can help you navigate the many moving parts of the elder care journey, starting with a copy of The ElderCare Ready Book. For more information on planning, Stuart Furman, Esq., based in California, also has a website, www.eldercareready.com with worksheets and planning tools for purchase, or contact us at CarePatrol at 866 560-5656.
1The Elder Care Ready Book, Stuart Furman, Esq., 2017 ElderCare Ready LLC; 9510 Vista Aleta, Valley Center CA, 92082