Creating a Plan for Senior Care
Anything can happen at any moment. Seniors can fall; heart attacks can occur. A range of any other tragedies can come out of the blue. With one moment, entire lives can change, leaving us to wonder what to do next. As our loved ones age, it becomes even more possible that their health and well-being can change at a moment’s notice, leaving caregivers with questions they can’t answer, a to-do list that they never saw coming, and added hardship. Sudden health changes can cause caregivers confusion, stress and mayhem if plans of care are not in place. Being unprepared can leave a loved one unsettled and worried. To give them greater peace of mind that they will be well taken care of, it’s important to put a plan of care in place.
According to Peggy O’Neill, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, it’s common that a plan of care is often overlooked by caregivers and their loved ones. “As much as we may not want to consider it, the truth is that there will be a time that a plan of care will need to be put in place,” says Peggy. “Many seniors and caregivers don’t realize, until an emergency happens, how important having a plan in place is. We plan for other emergencies and we have insurance – why not give yourself and your loved one peace of mind and make a plan of care? You may not need it, but it’s valuable to be ready if you do.”
Elder Care Needs Can Change in an Instant, an article by Carol Bradley Bursack, shares many ways to prepare for an unforeseen event. In order to be well-equipped to handle any sudden life changes, follow these tips.
Begin planning ahead. Have a conversation with your loved one about how they would like you to handle things in the event of a life-changing emergency. Ask them some questions which could make the conversation come up a little easier, such as: Where they would prefer to stay? Would your loved one prefer home care? Would they be more comfortable in an assisted living community with around-the-clock support?
Visiting different assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities with your loved one can be beneficial, according to Carol. This way they can tell you what they like or do not like about one specific community or which they like the best of all. Have them make a list of their preferences in order, so you can be sure you are making an educated decision if an emergency were to occur.
Get any essential documents together. Keep any documents your loved one might need together in a safe location. Make sure that a list of information, such as phone numbers, medications, allergies and known illnesses, is placed somewhere where medical professionals may see them, such as the refrigerator, the article states. Be sure to have other family members’ phone numbers listed in the event you are not reachable.
Have copies, not originals, of your loved one’s Medicare, insurance cards or other health information in their wallet or handbag. Originals of these documents should be kept in a secure place where you can access them in case of an emergency. This will allow you to fill out the necessary paperwork for medical professionals and help you to prove that you are serving as the caregiver for your loved one.
Put it in writing. As seniors age, they may be more likely to have a serious injury that can make them unable to make decisions on their own, or they may develop memory impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Injuries or diseases that make it hard for a loved one to make decisions can leave caregivers guessing as to what care they would prefer. Make these moments easier by taking care of and planning out legal matters well ahead of time.
Standard wills and living wills can be discussed and created with an elder law attorney and can make care decisions more concrete for you and your loved one. Establish powers of attorney for finance and healthcare decisions. In her article, Carol states that their physician office, hospital and any specialists should have copies of your loved one’s legal documents, especially those in regard to healthcare. Taking these measures can help to ensure that they do what your loved one wishes, even if they are unable to speak for themselves.
Purchase an emergency alert system. If your aging loved one lives by themselves, if your loved one is prone to accidents or falls, or if you both just want the peace of mind in knowing help is just a button away, plan on purchasing an alarm or monitoring system. With emergency alert systems, seniors are able to request help if needed, no matter the circumstance.
Many emergency alert systems come as bracelets, necklaces or are clipped to the clothing, ensuring the system is well within reach. When loved ones fall, it’s possible injuries can occur that will not allow them to reach the telephone, so emergency alert systems that are on their person could potentially save their life and secure help if you are not nearby or there to assist them.
PEACE OF MIND WITH LIONS GATE
If you or your loved one need assistance creating a plan of care, feel free to give us a call or pay us a visit. We would love to help you secure peace of mind and a more carefree future. While you are here, take a tour and experience our lifestyle. In fact, you may find everything your loved one needs at Lions Gate. With Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation options, we are sure to be a valuable resource for you and your loved one, should you ever need us. We would love to meet with you and help you plan for the future. Call us at (856) 782-1200 or visit our website at www.lionsgateccrc.org today!
INSPIRING WELLNESS EVERY DAY AT LIONS GATE.
Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.
Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.
As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.
Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.