Determining the care needs of an aging loved one is a very important role and can be challenging for family members. Whether you live nearby and can visit often, or live out of town and rely on telephone conversations and occasional visits, it can be difficult to get a clear picture of changes that may be significant. The best way for seniors to ensure that their preferred elder care wishes will be carried out is to discuss those plans with their adult children now, before a health crisis forces them to take action, possibly without their input. Receiving notice that there is an emergency regarding your aging loved one is the worst time to have to make difficult decisions concerning your aging loved ones care like, where your loved one might reside after a long hospital stay, a long term care plan, power of attorney, medical costs, end-of- life wishes, etc. This conversation should take place long before a receiving a frantic phone call notifying you there’s been an emergency.
Talk to an Aging Life Care Expert
An aging life care professional or ALCP (formerly called a geriatric care manager) can be a knowledgeable guide to figuring out the various choices — as well as someone to oversee the parent’s care and be the point person in an emergency.
Dianne McGraw, former president of the Aging Life Care Association and owner of Home Care Solutions, says: “An Aging Life Care Professional can tell you what the options are, talk about local facilities, make visits to the older person while you’re away, monitor a parent who has a home care aide, and be on call in case of an emergency.”
McGraw, who has been in practice for over 25 years, recalls, “I was with one of my clients in the emergency room on a New Year’s Eve. The family was away but not out of reach. I wasn’t permitted to make a medical decision, but I was the liaison and representative for the family. We got the family on the phone, and the patient was admitted to the hospital.”
As Aging Life Care experts, we see lots of families wait until a crisis hits before starting important conversations about elder care, and end of life issues. No matter your age, it’s hard to discuss end-of –life issues, but it is an important topic that needs to be addressed early.
We believe our job is to be the in-town son or daughter with professional eyes
Home Care Solutions fee-based Aging Life Care Management services can address elder care considerations that may be especially helpful to out-of-town family members or busy, in-town professionals. Our Care Managers have education and experience in either social work or nursing. They have many years of experience working with older and disabled adults and families. They maintain memberships in their respective professional associations or the Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA). Each Care Manager adheres to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of their professional associations and ALCA. Our Administrator of Client Services supervises them.
Care Management Services can save you time and money. Care Mangers can provide assistance with:
- Scheduling doctor’s visits and coordinate medical care
- Attend medical appointments with clients and report back to families
- Manage crisis situations such as accompanying a client to the ER
- Explore options with families for medical and residential care, including assisted living and nursing home choices
- Arrange services such as home health care, adult day care, emergency response systems, and home modifications.
- Provide recommendations for navigating Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- Provide client assessments required by long-term care insurance companies
- Assist with bill paying/household money management
- Refer to elder law attorneys and other professionals
If a parent is reluctant to talk, speaking with a professional, like an Aging Life Care specialist might help him/her react differently, and be more open to the conversation. Home Care Solutions’ Aging Life Care Managers are social workers, and trained specialists who can assist with walking parents and adult children through critical discussions/conversations
Have the talk, make a plan