Sunday, 24 November 2013

Home for the Holidays

What has happened to Mom and Dad?

Many of us will be heading home for the holidays after not seeing our older parents for some time.  As parents age, you may have questions about their well-being and how to help them now or in the coming years.

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Before your holiday visit, tune in to KFWB 980 AM on November 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to hear Council on Aging expert Julie Schoen who will be providing helpful information about issues adult children confront when they realize their parents need help.

Simple Steps to Prepare for Your Visit

Preparing  for Your Holiday Visit

– Cultivate an awareness about being prepared and planning
– Understand the financial impact of family caregiving
– Know your loved one’s health issues
– Become aware of family dynamics and communication strategies
– Learn what important paperwork is needed

The Ten Most Important Things to Know

– Your loved one’s health status
– How to begin “The Conversation”
– Advanced Health Care Directives
– Your loved one’s wishes
– How to avoid the “role reversal” trap
– Understand coverage for Medicare, HMO/Insurance Supplement
– Recognizing signs that your loved one(s) may need help
– Assessing needs and options
– Reaching out and locating resources
– Identify how to access legal documents
– Recognizing your own stress and burnout if you are a caregiver

Why is it Important to Prepare and Plan?

– It’s much easier to avoid problems later by preparing for the uncomfortable conversations before they are needed.
– Lack of preparation and communication often leads to a bigger crisis later.

Things to Look as Your Parent Ages        

Assess physical needs and activities

– Bathing
– Dressing
– Walking
– Eating
– Toileting
– Meal Preparation
– House Cleaning
– Transportation

Warning Signs

– Unopened mail and unpaid bills
– Poor hygiene
– Unkempt home
– Neglected pets
– Spoiled food
– Medication errors
– Physical changes including falling
– Dents in car
– Excessive spending
– “New friends”
– Talk of winning contests or possible scams

Collect and Organize Important Paperwork

– Medicare/ Health Care information
– Long-term Care Policies
– Personal Information: DOB, SS #, Banks, Cars, Assets
– Medical Information: Doctors, prescriptions (purpose, dosage and frequencies),    health conditions & outcome of doctor visits
– Important documents: Power of Attorney for finances
– Advanced Healthcare Directive, Wills, Life Insurance Policies
– Burial/Cremation/Memorial desires and plans

Download a Helpful Planning and Contingency List