Navigating the Elder Care Maze
Most people understand intuitively what we mean by the “Elder Care Maze”. It is the labyrinth of options and the uncertainty of accessing them that bewilder families when they are faced with an ill or disabled elder loved one. Uncertainties seem everywhere. Concerns can include: Where do I begin to find resources for my mother? How do I care for my dad after he is released from the hospital? What does Medicare pay for? What benefits am I eligible for? How do I judge a capable home care provider? A nursing home with professional and compassionate care? An assisted living facility that will be able to meet current and future needs? Who can assist my family in determining the correct level of care for my loved one? What do I do when the hospital social worker tells me I have 24 hours to find an appropriate place for mom to recuperate?
These and myriad other concerns distress, confuse and frustrate the most capable people. As we are usually not taught how to parent, we are also not prepared or taught how to care for our elders. The search for assistance can cause great anxiety.
We are fortunate in our community to have wide and deep resources for elders and their families. Some excellent resources exist for guiding families through the maze. They include professional Care Coordinators and independent Geriatric Care Managers. These resource specialists and advocates for elders and their families serve as guides to the many services available in our community. They effectively put all the pieces together for families who are struggling with finding, securing and paying for quality care.
Here are some of the ways a professional guide to the “Elder Care Maze” can help families navigate:
- Identify care issues and goals and review regularly
- Assist families in identifying and accessing quality in-home care & other services
- Maximize resources to improve quality of life
- Maintain elders’ control of decision-making
- Protect at-home spouse
- Review medical issues and make referrals to other geriatric specialists to provide quality care while conserving financial resources
- Coordinate with medical and health providers
- Provide support, guidance and advocacy during a crisis
- Provide ongoing education, counseling and support
- Prevent crises by early intervention/prevention
- Maximize legacy for loved ones
- Address fear of:
- being isolated from family and friends
- going broke from expensive long-term care costs
- out-living assets
- unwanted life support
- Document legacy wishes in a will or trust
The benefits to elders, their families and caregivers from working with a professional team to navigate the maze include peace of mind knowing that expert advice is just a phone call away.
Maser & Amundson, P.A. has been providing compassionate, effective and valued legal representation and services to Minnesota seniors and their families for over 25 years.
To learn about Life Care Planning, Maser & Amundson, P.A.’s new program for empowering families to navigate the “Elder Care Maze”, please go to: http://www.maserlaw.com/profile-of-services/elder-law-department/life-care-planning