Three weeks ago while I was on a quick trip to the store to buy bags of my father’s favorite candy, he fell and broke his hip. From that day on, both of our lives have been turned upside down from the moment we arrived at the hospital to the move to a rehabilitation center after his surgery. We are now forced to make a decision as to whether he can return home or will require 24-hour care.
As days turn into weeks, the need to make choices about long-term care has come knocking with force at my front door. I thought the challenge would be finding the perfect location for my father to receive the care he now needs full-time. However, I’m finding that there’s much more to it. Though my journey is just beginning, I’m learning very quickly that we all need to have a budget plan in place, as well as an idea of how we want to live out our lives, if the time comes that we need long-term care.
Paying for long-term senior care can be a challenge for all families, no matter what your circumstances may be. There are so many unknowns. We don’t know how long we will live or if those years will be spent in good health. We all hope to get lucky and stay healthy until our end, but in reality, most people will face health challenges that will increase the need for assistance. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans significantly underestimate the amount of care they’ll need and how long they’ll need it. People are outliving their resources AND they are living much longer than years gone by.
When you plan for your golden years, here are some things to consider.
- Anticipate escalating health needs
- Ask about Medicare policies
- Consider inflation increases
- Give advance notice of limited funds
- Be conservative in your choices
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Luckily for me, I have friends who have dealt with or are currently dealing with making choices about long-term care for their loved ones, whether it be independent or assisted the living. All of them have graciously offered their help in guiding me to the correct avenues to enable me to make the best choices for my father’s future in long-term care.
For more information on budgeting and long-term care options, go to www.aarp.org or link www.longtermcare.gov
I am sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s a small world” at some point in your life. About 3 years ago, I learned just how small the world really was and how important it is to know your family history. My best friend’s mom passed away, and I attended the memorial service and met one of her co-workers, Mary. We had an instant connection and became fast friends. So, 3 months ago I received a text message from my Mary asking if my grandfather had a sister named Viola who had lived in Mississippi. To my surprise, she was correct!
Mary and I had been friends and had no idea we were related. When I joined Facebook, I used my married name and recently decided to add my maiden name to my Facebook profile. After a short conversation, I learned that Mary was in fact the granddaughter of my paternal grandfather’s oldest sister. This year instead of one family reunion, I will be attending two, with plans to share all I know about my family’s history. The friendship between Mary and I encouraged me to learn more about my father’s side of the family and my family tree. Learning your family history can be a wonderful journey into history. There are many research websites to locate public records, like www.usa.gov and membership-based websites such as www.ancestry.com. These websites can help you build family trees and upload photos so that this information can be passed on to generation after generation for years to come.
I hope my story encourages you to share at family gatherings this summer all the knowledge you have about your family’s history. Even if you feel the information you have to share could be redundant, share it anyway. Someone may learn something about you or members of your family that they never knew. For more ideas to make learning and sharing family history fun, visit sites like www.Pinterest.com, or www.Ask.com. Both sites offer a wide variety of ways to learn and share your memories.
By now, cabin fever has taken its toll on us all. If you’re like me, the time has come to open that cabin door and get out and enjoy the weather. As I sat on my porch the other day, I noticed most of my neighbors either working in their yards, washing their cars, walking their dogs or just sitting on their porches soaking up the warmth of the day. I cannot sit still for long, so I decided to see what was happening around the city that I might enjoy doing. After a few online searches, I found that Columbus has a lot to offer it’s residents so I decided to put together a list of sites for you to visit to help get your summer started.
If you want to find a little of everything in one search, you’ll want to visit Experience Columbus at www.experiencecolumbus.com. They make finding events to match your interests very simple and you can search by dates or add keywords to help narrow down your search results. Columbus Underground offers a very user-friendly site offering events for today, tomorrow and all year round. You can find them at www.columbusunderground.com. For events happening in Downtown Columbus, visit www.downtowncolumbus.com or Columbus Commons at www.columbuscommons.or/happenings/event-calendar/. If you like festivals but aren’t sure where to find them you’ll want to visit Columbus Ohio Festival Information at www.in-and-around-columbus.com/columbus-festivals.html where they offer a complete list of festivals in and around Central Ohio.
Today I’m heading to the North Market for lunch with a friend. There you can find a little of everything there from fresh produce and meats, yummy desserts, jewelry to a bouquet of flowers for a table at home to remind you that spring is here and summer isn’t far behind, so get up and out and enjoy the outdoors. The North Market also offers a seasonal farmer’s markets on Saturdays starting at 8am. For more information on activities and events, go to www.northmarket.com.
Accepting that your loved one’s life is limited is something that is very difficult to do. Calling hospice is even harder, but as your loved one begins to lose their quality of life, it becomes necessary to make the call. The feelings of guilt or feelings of being an inadequate caregiver often make the call to Hospice delayed longer than it should.
Caregiving is difficult. It is difficult for family and friends, and even more difficult for the person who is receiving care. Once independent, your loved one is now faced with the humiliating position of having others assist with the most intimate tasks. Along with the humiliation comes anger, and tempers sometimes flare, causing everyone involved to say things they really don’t mean.
Guilt has a purpose in life, but guilt is a complicated emotion. We take on the expectations of others, society, friends and family, and of course, on ourselves. Making the decision to call hospice can cause us to “beat ourselves up” even though we can no longer properly care for a loved one.
Once acceptance is reached and the call is made to hospice, you will find that they are willing to offer you their expertise and compassion at a very difficult time for you and your family. The compassionate staff at Hospice Services at Methodist ElderCare will be available to help you and your family at a difficult time for all involved.
Give one of our hospice professionals a call today to assist with making the proper plans for your loved one as they enter their final days. Call 614-451-6700 or go to www.hospicemec.com for more information.