Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Helpby Joy Loverde
FULLY REVISED AND UPDATED
As our population shifts and ages, the care needs for our elders continue to change and evolve. Today’s generation of family and professional caregivers faces new decisions and challenges, as well as previously unavailable options./b>
The only guide you’ll ever need to manage the care of your aging family
FULLY REVISED AND UPDATED
As our population shifts and ages, the care needs for our elders continue to change and evolve. Today’s generation of family and professional caregivers faces new decisions and challenges, as well as previously unavailable options. This thoroughly revised and updated 2009 edition of The Complete Eldercare Planner equips you with reliable, up-to-the-minute information to help you plan and manage caring for your loved ones.
Comprehensive and detailed, sensitive and realistic, practical and accessible, the 2009 edition provides even more tips on prioritizing and organizing caregiving tasks, balancing work and family responsibilities, and navigating the complex maze of eldercare services. In addition to an expanded index of Internet resources and access to downloadable forms of key documents, you’ll find indispensable checklists, worksheets, step-by-step action plans, lists of questions to ask, low-cost and free alternative resources, and The Document Locator™. This new edition covers:
•Getting started on creating a long-term care plan
•Finding help, especially if you live far away
•Managing the financial aspects
•Talking to elders about sensitive subjects
•Senior housing–move or stay put?
•And many other topics of vital interest to anyone caring for an elder
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Read an Excerpt
Most of us are inadequately prepared, emotionally and otherwise, to face the complex issue associated with caring for elderly loved ones. Each situation usually involves multiple issues. How one family handles a problem is not necessarily the right approach for another, and what works one day could change drastically, overnight. How then do we proceed under these seemingly chaotic circumstances? The answer lies in planning.
Planning, however, takes on a whole new level of meaning when it comes to eldercare. Existing family decision-making patterns will no longer apply, and we soon realize we will not be returning to our past lifestyles. What we can plan on is that ongoing changes in the eldercare process will surely impact the rest of the family, sometimes suddenly, sometimes so gradually that we may not even notice the change.
The true nature of assisting an elderly parent, spouse, or other family member includes a roller coaster of emotional upsets, and consequently the process of care giving requires constant management of our attitudes and decisions. The Complete Eldercare Planner is your road map through this unfamiliar territory. Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of this book:Read the Introduction and the Objectives section at the beginning of each chapter. Knowing the basis for what you are reading, and why, will be especially helpful when the emotional aspect of assisting your loved one threatens to undermine your ability to accomplish what you want.As you finish reviewing the chapter, set goals with the help of the Eldercare Goals chart found on page 286 in chapter 14. Track your progress by referring to the Action Checklists at the end of each chapter. Effective planning is specific, realistic, and written.Start to fill out the Elder Emergency Information Chart on page xiii today. Finally, for quick reference to eldercare resources, websites, charts, and worksheets listed throughout The Planner, turn to the Index sections at the end of the book. You now have the tools you need to get started.
A PLACE TO STARTPlanning and preparation are critical for effective elder care.
Experts agree that rule number one in thoughtful planning is to use some form of planner to write things down.
Whether you are planning for future eldercare needs or helping an elderly relative in a crisis situation, The Complete Eldercare Planner will assist you and your family in pulling it all together.
OBJECTIVES After completing A Place to Start, you will be able to:Create opportunities to open up the lines of communication.
Minimize the number of crisis situations.
Reduce confusion in crisis situations.
Gain greater peace of mind by planning ahead.
Don't read this book. Use it.
This planner is specifically designed and organized to help you understand and manage issues associated with assisting an aging parent, spouse, or other family member or friend. The Complete Eldercare Planner offers immediate solutions to common problems by way of time saving action plans, charts, worksheets, and checklists. Make use of the spaces provided for listing telephone numbers, setting goals, and locating documents. At the end of every chapter you will also find an in-depth list of resources to give you the additional support you will need.
Decide what works best for you. How you use The Complete Eldercare Planner depends on the nature of your eldercare situation, your family's decision patterns, the help you receive from others, eligibility into specialized programs, and the availability of financial resources. You may choose to implement one plan, several plans, or even a combination of plans. A plan may work one day and not the next. Flexibility will be one of the keys to your effectiveness as a family caregiver.
The process of assisting an elderly family member requires an ongoing assessment of the situation at hand. Nothing stays the same in eldercare; aging people are constantly in transition. Open up the lines of communication early with elders and family members, and seek the advice of geriatric care professionals when you need additional support. Making assumptions about what is happening instead of talking to each other always does more harm than good. Operate from fact, not fiction.
Keep your planning and time line expectations realistic. Ask yourself on a regular basis these three simple questions: What can happen? What will my elder be able to do about what happens? What can the rest of the family do to help?
Plan early. The well-being of the entire family depends on the quantity and quality of your eldercare options, decisions, and plans.
Implement planning principles
Follow these six basic planning principles:
Set goals. Know what you are doing and why. Effective goal setting is specific, realistic, and written. Make use of the Goals Chart on p. 286.
Create support systems and use them. Surround elderly family members with people both inside and outside the family, as well as community assisted-living resources to share responsibilities and protect against family caregiver stress.
Write everything down. Put dates on all notes. Record plans, goals, ideas, phone numbers, questions, answers, promises, decisions, tasks, and appointments and keep them in a convenient, accessible location. Make good use of the forms in this planner.
Organize information. Keep notes, bills, receipts, contracts, letters, brochures, and all other eldercare-related information in a safe, twenty-four-hour accessible place. Create a system that makes it easy for you to find information and answers when you need them.
Allow sufficient time for research. Gathering information and creating options is critical to thoughtful action. Research more than one option. Research all costs and who pays.
Meet the Author
JOY LOVERDE, a leading consultant in the senior/active adult industry for thirty years, shares her expertise with family members and professionals who want to successfully plan and manage eldercare and caregiving issues. Her work has been featured on Today, the CBS Early Show, National Public Radio, and in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Consumer Reports. She lives in Chicago. Visit her website at ElderIndustry.com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Ths is such a great book!
We included this book in our list of recommended resources for caregivers at our end-of-life seminar offered by my church to our congregation and the community. I wish I had had such a book during the nine years I was a caregiver for my mother-in-law.
As the host of the 'Coping with Caregiving' radio show, I am constantly sent books from authors interested in being on my show. This is still one of the best and a staple you should have in your library if you are a caregiver or think it is just about to befall you. -Jacqueline Marcell, Author 'Elder Rage', International Speaker on Eldercare & Alzheimer's, Host 'Coping With Caregiving' Internet Radio Show at wsRadio
Many complicated issues are addressed in Joy Loverde¿s book The Complete Eldercare Planner ¿ second edition. As a nurse practitioner who works with older adults, I often recommend this book to patients and families to aide them in tackling many of the tough issues with aging. Checklists, step-by-step action plans, tips on communication are just some of the valuable resources in aiding elders and families through many of the tough aspects of the aging process. The record keeping forms in chapter 14 are extremely valuable resources as they allow the older adult to record valuable information. During stressful events it is often difficult to remember critical information and having a written record is vital. I have worked as a geriatric nurse practitioner for a number of years and extracting information from patients is one of my most challenging jobs. Keeping records such as these are so valuable that I wrote my own book about the importance of medical record keeping, Health Care Responsibility: The Older Adult¿s Guide to Surviving the Health Care System. Ray Lengel, Certified Nurse Practitioner, Author Health Care Responsibility: The Older Adult¿s Guide to Surviving the Health Care System.
Recently I found myself along with 3 other siblings and spouses thrust into new uncharted waters in a totally new season of our lives. Suddenly and without any training we were and continue to this day having to take care of my aging parents. I for one will freely admit that as a child I was never trained, prepared, nor exceptionally gifted to undertake such a task. It is just not the type of thing that you can ever really get to a line and say ready...set...go...and do it very well. Elderly health care in 2005 does not always afford us the luxury of any long preparation either emotionally or financially. Suddenly unmercifully and usually without warning you hear over the phone in the midst of a busy American routine those words you dread. It's Cancer, a stroke, or replacement surgery, just minor or major operations which means weeks of homecare and hospitalization's, etc., You are suddenly no longer swinging a few bats warming up in the on deck circle there in safety at a bit of distance. But you find yourself thrust into the batters box. You are no longer the stand by just in case fill in player who dressed for the game just in case you would or might be needed. But suddenly with a phone call, you find yourself thrust without any prior warning into the batters box. You are to take charge with 3 others voices and votes, your parents primary healthcare. Now, if you call a frantic call for 'HELP' in the middle of the night when just the week before things were okay a warning, well then, you're doing better than we were. You find yourself suddenly up at the plate with bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth your teams behind 3 runs. To top it off you're facing a 94mph fastball pitcher who also throws a mean slider called the reality of life. You have never been good at hitting these kinds of pitches. Much less being the homerun hitter the team needs at this moment and are all looking to you now for. Then you hear through your wife there is a book available on just such a thing. It allows you to calmly and logically check out all of your options. It tells you in simple language just how you go about walking through this difficult mine field you've been thrust into without training or any real prior warning. It tells you how to do this without losing your mind, your family unity, and most of all your parents dignity. I found myself literally reading the pages of Joy's, 'Elder Care' wonderful 'How TO' book on the plane going headed to Florida. I was then going there for my Dad's 80th B-day party as well as a visit to help out for 10 days at my elderly parents. Little did I know then, that I would see those 10 days turn suddenly into 46 long and hectic days I ended up spending there. Little did I realize as I paged through this how to book on Elderly Care that it would be like a daily Bible to me. I was literally reading a chapter ahead of the events as they unfolded in the next days. It was giving me the answers to question I had not yet asked, but found myself doing so in the next days to follow. As a former Eagle Scout, USMC SGT., Police Officer, Business owner, 20 years as a Lay Minister and being Happily Married to the same woman for over 26 years now, I'd received lots and lots of great training. Even you will have to admit that this background covers a lot of diversified and really good training. But nothing, absolutely nothing, but my Faith prepared me emotionally, physically, or all of us financially for the events that would suddenly and totally unwelcomed show up in the middle of the night. They just seem to attack you without ceasing on these issues when it's 'Your Mom or Dad.' Thank you Joy, for the time it must have taken you and the wealth of information this book contains. I personally know that it was truly a Godsend at a time of crisis in our lives. It still today continues to guide us along these slippery slopes. But because of this well timed work of Mercy and Grace, we have maintained as
I work for an area agency on aging in Oregon and do some work in our Title IIIE family caregiver support program. Unfortunately, in these shaky economic times, the State is on the verge of cutting a large number of our Medicaid clients from nursing home and community based programs -- and we are expecting much more of the burden of caring for the elderly falling to families than is even now the case -- so the more resources that can be made available to them, the better. Joy, keep up the good work! I also appreciated the chapter on caring for difficult parents (I've got two of them, ages 81 and 90, living in a mobile home park in Peoria AZ) -- in fact I lent the book to my sister who lives in Virginia and she found it very helpful during a trying time she had with them last spring.
Reviewer: Danny from Naples, Florida I never thought my family would get this crazy. My sister and I would fight all the time over what to do with mom. We didn't know what to do with her. This book was an incredible help. It told us what to expect and what to do step by step. Everything is peaceful for now. Don't wait. Get this book today.
Patrick Stinson, Executive Director of the Employee Management Association (WWW.ESMASSN.ORG) Employers are beginning to understand that they incur eldercare-related costs in terms of employee lost work time, higher use of health benefits, impaired productivity, unplanned absences, telephone costs, and employee turnover rate. This book is also an indispensable guide for employee benefits. When The Complete Eldercare Planner is in the hands of the employee, everyone benefits.
This is a book based on the principles of good planning and that it is better to be proactive than reactive. 'When I plan, I have choices,' the author states. And she gives the reader voluminous choices. This is a book filled with forms and action steps, low-cost and free resources and explanatory narrative. It will get you to where you need to be to be an effective care planner and caregiver. Topics include where to start, how to tell when your elder needs help, emergency preparedness, financial and legal matters, housing, long-distance caregiving, transportation, medical concerns, death and dying, and resources. This is a highly accessible and well thought-out workbook. For example, the author has taken the highly complex issue of 'Money Matters' and divided it into workable plans. The first deals with the business side of cargiving and lists the things you need to calculate expenses; part two helps you to figure out if you can afford elder care; and the third describes who pays for what. The fourth plan is asking for help with time and money, listing the kinds of resources you might need help with (home maintenance, cooking, exercise, heavy lifting). The chapter then goes on to plans for helping your loved one plan for financial fitness, with workbook forms for determining his or her current financial state (medical costs, income, expenses, insurance policies, travel costs, and financial advisors). With this material laid out so clearly, the tasks of caregiving do not feel so foreboding. This book takes the fear out of the unknown and makes caregiving manageable from the start. The 'Documents Locator' at the end -- the whole list of legal, personal, medical documents you might need -- is worth the price of admission alone.