By David Heisig, MD
When you visited your families this past holiday season, you may have noticed something had changed in an older loved one. Maybe it was the way they walked down a flight of stairs or how they spoke. Maybe the house was different. Something felt off, and you began to wonder if these signs — subtle (or maybe less so) — indicate something more concerning with Mom or Dad?
Do you have concerns about their quality of life or safety? Have there been falls or near misses? Is food being left out of the refrigerator to spoil? Has the stove been left on or the door left unlocked? Are they keeping up with housekeeping or personal hygiene?
It can be very dismaying to realize that your elder loved ones are struggling to care for themselves, and that something needs to be done.
The first step is to get a good assessment of the problem, and the Loretto family of services is a good place to start. For example, PACE CNY (a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) strives to allow people to “age in place” in their own residences.
PACE CNY provides an interdisciplinary approach to care using a team comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, recreational therapists, dietitians and social workers who work together to provide the best possible care for their patients. This team can evaluate an elder loved one, and create a plan of care specific for them.
It is always best to plan for the future. In addition to the financials, planning for aging and retirement should also include discussions with your family and/or friends about what things matter most to you, and how you will accomplish these goals as you require assistance from others.
It may be hard to accept or appreciate that Mom, Dad or another family member is getting older, and needs help. But with an experienced provider like PACE CNY, you can find a lifestyle that’s most fitting for a loved one.