By Jaimee Freelander
Crises come in all shapes and sizes and we will all experience one at some point in our life. As we age or help care for aging loved ones, we will inevitably face an unexpected crisis. This can result from an illness like a stroke, an injury like a broken hip or disagreement amongst family members involved in an aging loved one’s care. The keys to managing a crisis are thoughtful preparation and knowing when to ask for help. You do not need to face a crisis alone.
While you may not know when you will experience a crisis, you can take steps to prepare and put yourself in a position to lessen the impact. Long term care planning with an Elder Care Attorney is an essential first step. Creating legal documents such as a Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will allow you to discuss and document your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion down the road.
A second way to prepare for a crisis is through financial planning. It is inevitable that we will need care as we age, and private care is costly. You can work with professionals such as an Elder Care Attorney, Care Manager, Financial Advisor, or Insurance Agent. These entities can help you to plan and explore options. Medicaid, Long Term Care Insurance, VA Benefits, Life Insurance, and Trusts are just a few examples of the many financial topics that can be explored and help you to prepare for future needs.
You also can make specific preparations in advance for loved ones who may be at high risk for certain dangers like falling or wandering. Having the home assessed for safety and developing a safety plan can be invaluable in preventing crises. In addition, keeping up with medical appointments and being proactive about health needs are important for preventing or lessening the impact of a crisis.
The good news is that there are professionals available to help you during a crisis. Aging Life Care Professionals®, also known as Geriatric Care Managers, offer crisis intervention when it is needed and can help families plan for future needs and connect them with appropriate resources in their community.
Jaimee Freidlander, LCSW, C-ASWCM, CCM
Jaimee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Care Manager. She is the founder of Guiding Care, LLC, a concierge care management service based in South Florida. If you are interested in learning more about Jaimee’s care management services, you can visit www.guidingcarefl.com. You can also visit the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) website at www.aginglifecare.org. ALCA is the national association for professional care managers.