January 2020 - 10 Things Nobody Tells You as You Age Seminar
Elaine Poker-Yount, Director of Care Management and Community Liaison for Education and Outreach for the visiting Angels East Valley, was the guest speaker at the January seminar. Elaine spoke on the “10 Things Nobody Tells You as You Age. The top 10 list includes:
- Role adjustment – recognizing when adult children need to step in to assist aging parents; anticipating needs and doing homework.
- Knowing when to engage help – signs that extra help may be needed could include age, simple physical and/or mental health decline, post-surgery or procedure, some desired functions not getting done, some basic functions not getting done, too many doctor appointments, or activities or social events being missed.
- Powers of Attorney - include Financial Power of Attorney, Durable Medical Power of Attorney, and Mental Health Power of Attorney. Make sure the documents are current and meet the laws of each state if residing in more than one state.
- Advanced Directives – include a Living Will and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). Elaine noted that a DNR must be printed on an orange sheet of paper.
- Have “the conversation” – set the tone of the conversation; have it with yourself first to see how it sounds. Do it with humor. Set ground rules: What works for you? What works for them? What is needed? What is desired? Recognize and expect contributions, but be reasonable. Is it attainable/affordable? Driving? Bringing help into the home? When you are no longer the option for caregiving, then what? End of life wishes?
- Hospice – Elaine covered the definition of hospice, who is hospice eligible, and what services are provided.
- Advocacy – recruiting a health buddy to accompany on doctor visits as another set of eyes and ears, to remember and write things down, and to advocate if necessary. Elaine talked about the importance of making a list to take to doctor visits.
- HIPAA documents – Elaine briefly talked about HIPAA paperwork updates.
- Understanding Home Health – Safe and sound is the goal and can be accomplished by home modifications, bringing services “in”, or moving/downsizing. She covered medical alert devices and spoke about the difference between medical home care (can be covered by insurance but must have a doctor order) and non-medical home care (can be covered by private pay, aid & attendance or long-term care insurance.)
- Utilizing the Resources – There are a myriad of services available for seniors and companies providing those services, including the Area Agency on Aging, East Valley Visiting Angels, and a host of hospices. The Resource Source Program is a free community service of the East Valley Visiting Angels, give them a call for information at 480-833-8247.
Story by Bev Buddee
Pictures by Barry McNeill
ASU Retirees Association
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