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Caring for Aging Parents

Caring for Aging Parents. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

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Caring for Aging Parents

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  1. Caring for Aging Parents “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3) Week 2 | Organizing & Planning Ahead | March 15, 2015

  2. Organizing and Planning AheadMarch 15, 2015 • Moving from something we fear to something we can embrace • What to expect • Organizing and planning • What free resources are available Caring for Aging Parents

  3. Julie Ehrlich Julie Ehrlich holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Gerontology/Nursing Home Administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida and is one of only eight Certified Members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers in Middle Tennessee. Julie’s great-aunt, a Navy Registered Nurse, and nursing home owner, instilled in Julie a love of older adults and the compassion needed to care for our elders as if they were her own family. Julie started volunteering and working in nursing homes in high school and in college as activities coordinator and assisted in the admissions department. After college, Julie spent some time working with Parkinson’s patients in a rehab setting. She worked as a social worker in nursing homes for 8 years until she became a Geriatric Care Manager in 2006. Julie relocated from Orlando, FL to Nashville, TN in the spring of 2012 where she is now a Geriatric Care Manager for Life-Links. Caring for Aging Parents

  4. Our Prayer today • Pray for wisdom and guidance in planning for the road ahead. • Pray for an extra-measure of faith when the unexpected happens. Caring for Aging Parents

  5. Since we last met… Caring for Aging Parents

  6. Since we last met… When and how do you approach a “Type A” parent to work with them on their financial accounts without offending them? Caring for Aging Parents

  7. Starting Uncomfortable Conversations with Elderly Parents Three Steps to Managing Uncomfortable Conversations: • State the Issue: You can start by saying something like, “Mom, Dad, I am concerned that there may come a time when you will need my help managing your affairs. It would make me feel a lot more comfortable if I knew what you would want me to do if you were suddenly in a position where you could no longer care for yourself.” Caring for Aging Parents

  8. Starting Uncomfortable Conversations with Elderly Parents • Ask for Permission: When you need to have a potentially sensitive conversation, ask for permission to have it before you start. For instance, you could say something like, “Mom, I would like to set a time for us to sit down and talk about how you are going to keep up the house and yard now that you are spending so much of your time taking care of Dad,” and then you say, “Would that be alright with you?” Or it could be something like, “Dad, I need to have a difficult conversation with you. I have become very concerned about Mom’s ability to drive, and I’d like to discuss some of the different transportation options you two could consider. Would it be okay with you if we scheduled a time to talk about this?” Caring for Aging Parents

  9. Starting Uncomfortable Conversations with Elderly Parents • Ask open-ended questions: Open-ended questions cannot be answered with just a “yes” or “no”. Good openers start with questions like: How would you feel about ________? Who could help us with ____________? What would you like to do about ________? Caring for Aging Parents

  10. Examples It is so important to take all of your medications as prescribed. There are some wonderful services that can help keep track of what you are supposed to be taking and when. I’d like to set aside a time when we could review some of the different options. Would that be okay with you? When do you think we could do that? Caring for Aging Parents

  11. Examples As much as all of us kids want to do what you wanted if something happened and you could no longer manage your healthcare or finances, it’s very likely that some of us could have very different opinions about what your wishes are. I know keeping peace in the family is important to you, so I’d like to know if we could set a time to talk about what would you like to do about getting this information organized and how and when you’d like to share it with all of the kids. Would that be okay with you? When do you think we could do that? Caring for Aging Parents

  12. Keep in Mind The key is to let them keep as much independence and decision-making control as possible. No one likes to be told what to do. None of us like to give up our power. Do not give orders, and avoid telling them what to do. If they are doing something that concerns you, don’t make accusations. State the fact. Ask for permission to have the discussion. Set a time to deal with it. Caring for Aging Parents

  13. Keep in Mind Bear in mind that your parents may not want to tell you everything. They may be afraid that they don’t have enough assets to carry them through an extended stay in a long-term care facility. They may not want to tell you if they have made some bad investments or poor financial decisions like loaning money to your siblings who haven’t repaid their debts. Caring for Aging Parents

  14. Keep in Mind Conversely, if your parents have a lot of money, they may be afraid that some of their children could become less ambitious about providing for their own futures if they know they stand to inherit a significant sum of money. So you see, they may have lots of reasons for keeping their financial cards close to the chest. Caring for Aging Parents

  15. Keep in Mind Whatever their situation is, they may be more comfortable talking with a professional than they are talking with you.  Caring for Aging Parents

  16. When I grow old… Caring for Aging Parents

  17. Our Faith Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22, NIV) Caring for Aging Parents

  18. Our Faith Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21, NIV) Caring for Aging Parents

  19. Our Faith “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matt. 6:25-27, NIV) Caring for Aging Parents

  20. Caring for Aging Parents

  21. Arrange a Family Meeting for "The Talk" • Have the conversation in person. Video chat, phone, or email won't provide you with honest emotions or feedback. • Prepare questions in advance so you won't feel rushed or scrambling to get your thoughts together. • During the conversation, provide undivided full attention so it won't seem like you're forcing an agenda. • Write important points in a notebook to record details and to reference in the future. Caring for Aging Parents

  22. Find Out Your Parents' Needs and Wishes • What are your parents’ plans? • Age-in-place • Move closer to one of their children • Downsize • Retirement Community • Health and Healthcare • Financial plans (financial capacity) Caring for Aging Parents

  23. Median Monthly Costs in Tennessee Caring for Aging Parents

  24. Independent Living Assessment • Poor eating habits – weight loss or no appetite – are they able to still cook for themselves? Do they stock their fridge with healthy foods? • Poor hygiene – do they have body odor? Are they bathing and changing their clothes like they used to? Are they neglecting their nails and teeth? Caring for Aging Parents

  25. Independent Living Assessment • Neglecting their home – is it not as clean as you remember? • Forgetfulness – a good indicator are scorched pots and pans, it shows they may be forgetting that dinner is cooking on the stove. Also, are they missing appointments or have lots of unopened mail? Are they losing money, paying bills twice, or hiding money? Caring for Aging Parents

  26. Independent Living Assessment • Support system – Do they have a strong support system in town to lean on if they need help? • Mobility and driving – Are they still mobile? Can they get out of bed, up the stairs and into showers without slipping or falling? Can they still safely drive themselves to the grocery store, doctor appointments, etc…? (a good way to determine this is to check their car for new dents, scratches, etc…) Caring for Aging Parents

  27. What are the children willing and able to do? • Be Your Parents' Caregiver • In their home? • In your home? • Maintain parents’ engagement in family, social, and faith activities • Coordinate Health and Healthcare • Manage Household (budgeting, paying bills, home repairs, etc.) • Financial Support • Coordinate decision-making Caring for Aging Parents

  28. Stories Providing some context Caring for Aging Parents

  29. A Story from Steve • I can’t afford that! Caring for Aging Parents

  30. Julie Ehrlich “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” ~ Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC Caring for Aging Parents

  31. Can I Stay or Should I Go?Julie Ehrlich, BSG, CMCLife-Links Care Management and Advocacy Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ Sunday, March 15, 2015

  32. Can You Stay? • YES. Absolutely! • Should you? It depends.

  33. Evaluate the Support System • Transportation • Medical Coordination & Emergencies • Meal Planning and Preparation • Bill Paying • Confusion • Socialization

  34. Socialization The most socially active, over 80-year-olds, experienced only one-fourth the rate of cognitive decline as those with the lowest levels of social activity. A study at Rush University Medical Center and published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. found that elderly people with the highest levels of social activity -- doing things such as visiting friends, going to parties or attending church -- showed much lower levels of cognitive decline than those who were the least socially active.

  35. Factors to Consider • Income and Savings • Family Relationships • Medication Management • Likelihood of Dementia • “Laziness” Factor • Strangers/Technology in the Home • The Earlier, the Better

  36. Levels of Care • Private Residence • Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care • Skilled Care/Health Center

  37. Life-Links Care Management & Advocacy 615-595-8929 Julie@life-links.org www.life-links.org Facebook: Life-Links Geriatric Care Management Twitter: @LifeLinksGCM

  38. Resources Available Caring for Aging Parents

  39. Everything in One Place http://berryschapel.org/ministries/caring-for-aging-parents Caring for Aging Parents

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