The most loving gift a person can give to one’s family is to put your affairs in order before a disaster or medical emergency. The information and documents you should have prepared:
- All bank accounts, account numbers and types of accounts and the location of banks.
- Insurance Company, policy number, beneficiary as stated on the policies and type of insurance (health, life, long term care, automobile, etc).
- Deed and titles to ALL property.
- Loan/lien information, who holds them and if there are any death provisions.
- Social Security and Medicare numbers.
- Military history, affiliations and papers (including discharge papers).
- Up-to-date will in a safe place (inform family where the Will is located).
- Living Will or other Advanced Directive appropriate to your state of residence.
- Durable Power of Attorney.
- Instructions for funeral services and burial (if arrangements have been secured, name and location of funeral home.) ~Caregiver.com
Contact Raleigh Geriatric Care Management, www.rgcmgmt.com, 919-803-8025, firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are still the same, but our name has changed to better reflect what we do and who we are. Our national association, formerly known as National Association of Professional Care Managers (NAPGCM), is now the Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA) and care managers are now refered to as Aging Life Care Experts™.
Conflicting demands on your heart, time, and energy can make it hard to care for an aging relative. If this sounds familiar, you could benefit from the services of an aging life care expert.
An aging life care expert provides relief. They work with you and your family member to develop a realistic care plan. The goal of the plan is to maximize your loved one’s independence, safety, and quality of life. A solid care plan addresses family resources. This includes making sure you are not called upon to do more than you are able.
An aging life care expert is a guide and an advocate. These experts are typically trained in the health professions or social work. Many have specialties in elder care. They bring to their role an understanding of the
- local healthcare system;
- emotional and physical challenges of aging and/or disability;
- difficulties of adult children juggling work and family;
- common legal and financial issues that arise in later life;
- local housing options and other senior or disabled services.
Aging life care experts use a holistic approach. They begin with a thorough assessment of needs and capabilities. They can often resolve uncertainties and dispel family disagreements. Their emotional support may help your loved one come to terms with this new phase of life.
An aging life care expert’s input may save you time and money. After looking at money and other family resources, they can recommend appropriate housing situations. They can identify veteran assistance and other benefits. They can avoid duplication of medical services and potentially catch problems before a crisis blooms. They can also monitor the quality of care.
An aging life care expert works independently as the client’s advocate.They are not paid through referral fees. Nor are they employees of hospitals or insurance companies. In some cases, their services can be reimbursed by long-term care insurance.
If you think you and your loved one could benefit from the services of an aging life care expert, give us a call at Raleigh Geriatric Care Management, 919-803-8025, http://www.rgcmgmt.com
By Dr. M. Ross Seligson
Being able to cope with the strains and stresses of being a Caregiver is part of the art of Caregiving In order to remain healthy so that we can continue to be Caregivers, we must be able to see our own limitations and learn to care for ourselves as well as others.
It is important for all of us to make the effort to recognize the signs of burnout, In order to do this we must be honest and willing to hear feedback from those around us. This is especially important for those caring for family or friends. Too often Caregivers who are not closely associated with the healthcare profession get overlooked and lost in the commotion of medical emergencies and procedures. Otherwise close friends begin to grow distant, and eventually the Caregiver is alone without a support structure. We must allow those who do care for us, who are interested enough to say something, to tell us about our behavior, a noticed decrease in energy or mood changes.
Burnout isn’t like a cold. You don’t always notice it when you are in its clutches. Very much like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the symptoms of burnout can begin surfacing months after a traumatic episode. The following are symptoms we might notice in ourselves, or others might say they see in us. Think about what is being said, and consider the possibility of burnout.
- Feelings of depression.
- A sense of ongoing and constant fatigue.
- Decreasing interest in work.
- Decrease in work production.
- Withdrawal from social contacts.
- Increase in use of stimulants and alcohol.
- Increasing fear of death.
- Change in eating patterns.
- Feelings of helplessness.
Strategies to ward off or cope with burnout are important. To counteract burnout, the following specific strategies are recommended
- Participate in a support network.
- Consult with professionals to explore burnout issues.
- Attend a support group to receive feedback and coping strategies.
- Vary the focus of caregiving responsibilities if possible (rotate responsibilities with family members).
- Exercise daily and maintain a healthy diet.
- Establish “quiet time” for meditation.
- Get a weekly massage
- Stay involved in hobbies.
By acknowledging the reality that being a Caregiver is filled with stress and anxiety, and understanding the potential for burnout, Caregivers can be forewarned and guard against this debilitating condition. As much as it is said, it can still not be said too often, the best way to be an effective Caregiver is to take care of yourself.
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When caregivers take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, we expect our lives to change. What is unexpected, and often goes unnoticed, is the forfeiting of our own well-being in order to become a primary caregiver.
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer, “Yes,” to any of them, you need assistance. Support groups, your loved one’s social worker, your physician, counseling or therapeutic centers and a number of other community resources can help you in providing greater balance between your caregiving responsibilities and your well-being.
Have you stopped communicating with friends you had before you became a caregiver?
Do you lack time to participate in activities that make you feel good?
Is your caregiving role negatively affecting your personal relationships?
Have you failed to have a check-up lately or find you do not follow the doctor’s recommendation for you own health?
Does your loved one need, but not have, a monitoring device?
Has your loved one become abusive towards you?
Have you noticed you are becoming verbally, physically or emotionally abusive to your loved one?
Are you drinking or taking drugs to cope with stress or distress?
Has your sleeping pattern changed since becoming a caregiver?
Do you feel you are not getting enough sleep?
Do you refuse to let others assist you, or give your respite, for fear something will happen if you leave you loved one in another’s care?