February 15, 2017
Hello. My name is Katelyn and I am a new blog writer, a blogger, some would call it. I started this blog because I have been working for about 3 years helping individuals answer questions about finding options for long-term care via a phone information and referral service. I am passionate about helping people with this process because it is one of the most misunderstood aspects of health care.
My personal life reflects this as well. My grandfather, Frank, is 91 years old. He still lives in his home and is lucky to have a support system to make sure this is possible; however, the past few years have not come without any obstacles. He has had multiple hospital visits, which resulted in home care, physical therapy, catheters, etc. What stuck with me the most about this process is how hard it truly is to be an advocate and to help navigate the options. As I mentioned, Frank has a great support system. He has 10 children, a majority of whom work in the medical field in some capacity. He has me; his own personal information center for long-term care. With all of these supports, how is it that the family still struggles to make decisions and decide on the best option? And what do families do if they don’t have the background that we all have?
Everyone reading this blog has heard the statistics… every single day in the United States, 10,000 individuals turn 65. A lot of people are aging, and that is important to consider; however, what is even more important when reading this blog is to think a bit smaller. Who around you is reaching that magical age of “65 and older”? Your parents, your neighbors, yourself? What discussions have taken place, what plans are in order, what legal documents are ready to go?
So if you are feeling stressed, here are some things youneed to do RIGHT NOW, no matter how old you are:
1. Check out The Conversation Project:Starting the discussion about long-term care with family members or friends, or even your physician, is the most important step. Communication is essential and talking it through might ease some tension when going through other steps.
Check out their Starter Kit here: Starter Kit
TIP: This discussion should not be “I never want to move to a community; I want to stay at home as long as possible.” Yes, this can be a part of the discussion, but talk about Plan A and Plan B, talk about what if’s, so your family member doesn’t feel guilty if staying at home isn’t feasible anymore.
2. Create a“Roadmap”: Get a physical binder with tabs, like the ones you may have used as a student, and put all your important documents in one place, where people can find them. Make a copy of that binder and make sure those who will need it have a copy or know where it is. This should include:
Check out the resources in the sidebar, there are elder law attorneys and financial planners that might be able to help get you started.
Note: The binder is not an excuse not to discuss these things. When an emergency happens, that should not be the time that those who need the information find it and realize they are your Power of Attorney for healthcare.
So do you have enough to think about now? Perhaps a good New Year’s Resolution would be to have discussions and make a binder? Just a thought…After your planning and discussions, reach out to me and let me know what you want to learn about through this blog.
Disclaimer: This blog acts as an overview for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to VOYCE via our social media or to me at VOYCE at 314-919-2403 or email@example.com. My focus is on the St. Louis region in Missouri.
Category: Preparing for Long Term Care
Connect With VOYCE
8050 Watson Road, Suite 155, St. Louis, MO 63119
Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 43-1480438