The Changing Face of Elder Care

December 13th, 2022 by dayat No comments »

There was a time when Mom became too frail to take care of herself the only option was “the old folks home”. Now our choices have much improved. We have independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. Many of these have the look, feel and amenities of a resort. In fact many of them refer to themselves as “retirement resorts”.

They are really nice but some can be real pricey too. But for the aging loved one who desires to stay in their home, the home where they feel safe surrounded by neighbors who they trust and in the home of memories we now have in home senior care.

Senior care or elder care includes a wide range of services that are provided over an extended period of time to people who need help to perform normal activities of daily living because of cognitive impairment or loss of muscular strength or control.

Elder care can include rehabilitative therapies, skilled nursing care, palliative care through hospice, and social services, as well as supervision and a wide range of supportive personal care provided by family caregivers and/or home health care agencies. Elder care may also include training to help older people adjust to or overcome many of the limitations that often come with aging. If appropriate, elder care can at best be provided in the home first.

Where do we start when looking for resources for elder care for a loved one? Resources that can help the elderly stay in their own home are the first place to start. A variety of independent living services are now available to help the elderly care for themselves in their own home despite their changing physical needs. This may help, delay or totally avoid moving into an assisted living or nursing home.

Resources for Elder Care that can help the elderly stay in their own home:

The following are just a few of the national resources available and a good place to start. It would be more helpful for you if you did a computer search on Google or bing using these national names tied to your location. For instance “American Society on Aging Peoria AZ”.

A.A.R.P. (formally The American Association for Retired Persons) is the largest organization for adults age 50 and older. There is a part of the website which offers many resources for housing and mobility options for elderly care living.

Visiting Angels is non-medical in home elderly care service provider and elder care living assistance service. Visiting Angels offers a variety of customized services to help the elderly stay in their own home. Visiting Angels are elderly care specialists.

American Society on Aging – The American Society on Aging is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the knowledge and skills of those working with older adults and their families. This site offers useful resources on a variety of aging-related and elder care topics and elderly care advice.

Elder web – This site is designed for both professionals and family members looking for information on elder care and long term care, and includes links to information on legal, financial, medical, and housing issues, as well as policy, research, and statistics.

National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification – NRCSHHM is a non-profit organization that promotes aging in place and independent living for persons of all ages and abilities. The website contains excellent resources on senior housing, elder care and home modifications.

By using resources available, elderly care in the home becomes a viable option. Elder care does not have to mean you have to do it alone. Becoming knowledgeable about elderly care issues make the aging transition an easier road to go down.

Michael Simpson is Director of Visiting Angels in NW Phoenix. They are a home care company providing non

Elder Care Law – What is Life Care Planning? Part 3

November 13th, 2022 by dayat No comments »

When we discuss Life Care Planning, we talk about the elder care continuum, which is a timeline on which the individual is moving toward the end of their life. The ideal for all of us is to age in place. That means the elder who lives in their own home, independently and successfully with no assistance needed, until they pass away. Some people have the good fortune to depart life in this manner, but many do not. Instead, they may have Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, or suffered a disabling stroke, or become frail, or otherwise have found themselves moving down the elder care continuum. They find that they need assistance with activities of daily living. That means they need to plan for their long-term care needs.

What does life care planning mean? I describe Life Care Planning as our discovering the elder’s place on the elder care continuum and then figuring out what we need to do to identify, access, and pay for good care for the individual, both now and in the future. That is not as easy as it sounds, but for an elder centered law practice, it is the essence of what we do. To put it another way, we help older people manage their chronic illnesses. Seniors need to get good care when and where they need it, and they need to know how to pay for it. As an elder centered law practice, we will include in our engagement agreements with the client a paragraph that says that we will not knowingly take a position that harms an elder and it is our goal to improve the quality of life for those elders we serve. By entering into this agreement with us, you expressly authorize us to act in your best interests at all times.

Our team consists of an Elder Law Attorney and an Elder Care Coordinator. What is an Elder Care Coordinator? An Elder Care Coordinator is a professional, who specializes in assisting older people and their families to attain the highest quality of life given their circumstances. An Elder Care Coordinator will:

o Help clients and families identify care problems and assist in solving them.
o Assist families in identifying and arranging in-home help or other services.
o Coordinate with medical and health providers.
o Provide support, guidance, and advocacy during a crisis.
o Help with coordinating transfer and transportation of an older person to or from a retirement complex, assisted care living facility, or nursing home.
o Provide education.
o Offer counseling and support.

As a part of the Life Care Plan, the Elder Care Coordinator helps seniors and their families with their long-term care concerns. Your Elder Care Coordinator functions as the point of contact for the family and assists in coordinating services to help you take care of your loved one.

Your Elder Care Coordinator has extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in the community. As families begin their journey through the long-term care system, it is helpful for them to have a supportive and knowledgeable advocate to accompany them along the way.

An example from our practice will show you the importance of the Elder Care Coordinator. One of the duties of the Elder Care Coordinator is to visit our clients on a regular basis wherever they are living. During a recent visit to a nursing home to see one of our clients the Elder Care Coordinator noticed that a client was acting in a strange manner, not at all like they had in the past. She went to the nurse to see if they were aware of anything that would have caused a change in that individual’s behavior. She was told that there was nothing. She then contacted the family to see if they noticed anything unusual. Again nothing. But, she was persistent. To make a long story short, the Elder Care Coordinator was able to determine that the nursing home had two patients with the same exact name, residing on the same floor and they were both being taken care of by the same nurses. I am sure that by now you can guess what happened. Our client was given the medication that was supposed to go to the other individual with the same name. The Elder Care Coordinator sprung into action. She had the other individual moved to another floor where they would be taken care of by different nurses and arranged to change the way the names were recorded in the files and on its computer so that this mixup would not happen again. I can only imagine what would have happened if this would have been permitted to continue the way it was without the advocacy of the Elder Care Coordinator.

Life Care Planning is an innovative approach to elder law that helps families respond to all of the challenges presented by long life, illness and disability. Peace of mind for the elderly and their families is the goal of every Life Care Plan.

Michael D. Weinraub, Esq., CELA, is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the A.B.A. approved National Elder Law Foundation.

Michael D. Weinraub, P.C. is a holistic elder law practice that helps families plan for, pay for, and coordinate the long-term care of elderly loved ones. We work with senior citizens and their families who are overwhelmed or confused by all of the decisions they have to make planning for the future. Our practice involves the use of a Life Care Plan. The Life Care Plan places special emphasis on issues surrounding a long life. The Life Care Plan connects your concerns about long-term care as you go through the later stages of your life with the knowledge and expertise of an Elder Law Attorney and an Elder Care Coordinator who will be with you every step of the way to assist you in making the right choices. We offer personal service to our clients and do so with respect and compassion.