Women2Women - Spring 2017 - 36

Work2Life

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The Uncertainty of
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Aging Parents
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- Be Informed -
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By Wendy Kerschner, Territory Manager, Comfort Keepers

IF YOU ARE LUCKY, you will have the opportunity to see your
parents age into retirement and beyond. If you are lucky, they will
have the capacity to make wise medical and investment decisions.
If you are lucky, they will follow every word of your advice. But,
what if you are not lucky?

What if you are faced with a parent who has dementia or another
cognitive impairment that prohibits him or her from making sound
decisions? What if you have a parent who neglected to secure a will,
living will, or power of attorney? What if you need to take over the
medical decisions and financial responsibility for your aging parent?
Are you prepared for that?
Many families find themselves overwhelmed with the
decisions and responsibility necessary to take
care of an aging loved one. Nearly all wish
they had been more educated on the
aging process, legal options, wealth
preservation, and care choices as
well as social and Veterans programs.

When is a good time to start learning about these topics? If you
have parents who are 70 or better...the time is now.
The first step in the education process on aging is to learn and
understand the signs for concern. While some of these situations
may have a valid explanation, many times, these are indications of
aging decline that foretell a coming crisis.
Has your loved one:
* Become repetitive with stories or questions
* Had difficulty balancing their checkbook or paying bills
* Provided their personal information to a scammer
* Exhibited odd behavior or said things that are out of character
* Forgotten words to common items like a toothbrush or
egg sandwich
* Become accusatory of others stealing or "watching" them
* Fallen
* Lost or gained significant weight
* Become disoriented or lost while driving
* Neglected cleaning their home or throwing away expired foods
Next, give yourself a reality check:
* Accompany your loved one to a doctor appointment to get a
clear understanding of what is happening.
* Drive with your loved one as the passenger to assess his or her
ability to drive safely.
* Plan a weekend to sleep over at your loved one's home. This
will often provide the most eye-opening experience into what
is really happening in your loved one's world.
Then, start acquiring resources and know your options.
* Is your loved one a Veteran or widow/spouse of a Veteran?
* Does your loved one have a will, living will, and power of attorney?
* What is the financial situation of your loved one?

36 Women2Women Spring 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Spring 2017

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