Nurse’s Blog – “Aging in Place”

From Pat Woerheide, RN, Parish Nurse

Recently, I was able to attend an information session on aging in place, and just want to paraphrase what I learned:

An extensive review was presented about resources for elder care.   During the information session it was stressed that there was a continuum of care to consider as a person ages. This includes Home HealthCare, Adult Day Care, Personal care/assisted living and Nursing Home Care. Most people initially consider Nursing Homes or assisted living facilities. However, avoiding the jump to facility care might be appropriate, unless absolutely necessary, because of the financial burden involved.   Aging in place for as long as possible might be a more desirable choice, or at least first consideration.  Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s), are a viable choice for aging individuals but are really a luxury that may not be affordable.

A review of financial resources along the care continuum is important.   This includes Medicare, Medicaid, Long term care insurance, Veterans Aid, and Adult children as possible resources.    Seniors frequently prevent themselves from reaching goals in aging because they do not realize that a “Rainy Day” might be now!   So finding a nonfamily advocate in any aging transitional period might be prudent.

Planning for your aging while you are in complete control  is good advice as well.  So that someone does not take over and plan for you according to their goals for you.

Here’s some questions to consider:

1.  What you want to accomplish in your elder years?

2.  Do you want to age in place?

3.  Do you want to keep control with self determination?

4,  Do you want to pass on a legacy?

5.  Do you want to spend a legacy?

These are all real possibilities and should be determined by the aging person with the realization that waiting for a rainy day could frustrate your goals.

Here are a few important agencies available to Delaware County Seniors:

Each county has an Area Agency on Aging (AAA).  Ours is COSA (County Office for Services for the Aging).  This office offers to seniors a wide range of services with financial eligibility considerations including Home Health Aid Care and Adult Day Care, with a free assessment and referral to care management services (610-490-1300 or 1-800-416-4504).  Apprise (610-237-6222) is another resource, a edicare counseling service that provides answers to questions about Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicade, Long term Care Insurance, as well as the new prescription drug plans. Many consumers may be eligible for premium subsidies based on income! CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly 800-356-3606) is a consumer protection agency

If you have questions or want more information,  you can contact me for assistance.

A prayer for strength to reach out for help was offered:

I don’t want to be a burden, God. I certainly don’t want pity. But I can no longer do it alone.

Help me God. Teach me not to be afraid to rely upon others. Show me how to accept kindness and ask for help. Teach me God, that my children still love me even though they are grown.

I still have much to offer. God help me find the ways to transmit my wisdom, to share my love, to share my talents, and to offer reassurance and support.

Most of all, I place my trust in you, God;  I place my body and soul in your hands, and pray that you will be with me. Amen