What Comes After the Hardest Conversation: Resources for Your Aging Parents
Now that Early Retiree had The Hardest Conversation, with his father, August Retiree. Early’s “aging and end of life talk” with his father went well and Early felt he understood their wishes. Now, he wants to make sure he and his parents have a plan when they experience “aging transitions.” Early will forever remember August’s smirk when he said, “aging transitions.”
Early consulted his financial advisor, Fioni AdVisor. Fioni (pronounced “Fee-Only” – shameless plug) recommended he start with a Geriatric Care Manager. Fioni told Early that, although August is 90 years old and independent, now is the time to build a team for his parent’s transitions.
She recommended starting with a Geriatric Care Manager, specifically, an Aging Life Care Professional associated with the Aging Life Care Association. Some of these professional’s services include:
- Provide in-home assessments and make recommendations to age in place
- Act as a liaison between families living out of town and their parents
- Screen, arrange, coordinate, and monitor services
- Medication management, oversight, and patient advocacy
Geriatric Care managers often work with children who live out-of-town or work full time. This can include arranging and coordinating:
- In-home care
- Legal and Financial Advisors
- Transitions to new living quarters.
Most importantly, the Geriatric Care Manager is an advocate for the senior. Because the Care Manager is familiar with the client’s situation and background, the Care Manager can navigate the myriad services and agencies in the health care industry to make sure the senior gets timely and appropriate care and service. The manager can also be a facilitator when there are multiple children or family members concerned with the care of a senior.
Susy Murphy, President of Debra Levy Eldercare Associates, likes to say that “We are the wedding planners for growing older.”
Fioni gave Early names of local Geriatric Care Managers and recommended that he interview at least two to determine who he and August would be most comfortable working side by side.
Fioni noted that a Geriatric Care Manager is only one member of a Senior team. Financial Advisors also recommend vetted professionals such as:
- Daily Money Managers
- Eldercare Attorneys
- Estate Attorneys
- Home Modification expects
- Long-Term Care Insurance Professionals
As another homework task, Fioni recommended that Early check our other resources for his team.
- County Governments – Many counties have extensive services. For example, Howard County, Maryland has the Department of Citizen Services which includes the Office on Aging.
- Non-Profits – Community non-profits such as The Villages in Howard in Howard County, Maryland are gaining momentum. These are membership communities modeled after Boston’s Beacon Hill Village with the goal of having residents working together to age in place.
Note - During 2016, I will be blogging about professionals, government agencies, and non-profits that help adult children provide care and services to their aging parents. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these issues, please contact me at email@example.com or 410-715-9200.
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