BY:  Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC
President Elder Connections

Across America, families are gathering together to celebrate the holidays.   It’s a time of great expectations, intimacy, and love.  As family’s come together at this joyous time, it is an opportunity to assess how the seniors in your family are managing. Perhaps you’ve experienced that all seems well on the phone but then when you visit things are not quite the way as seemed.

Taking Stock for Better Senior Care

Coming home is the perfect opportunity to make an assessment of your seniors’ current status.   While there may be some sad surprises, whatever may be true, it’s important to take proactive steps for the future.

Better Senior Care Holiday Check-List

1. Name the Elephant in the Room by approaching the topic of advanced heath planning.   One easy way into this topic is to discuss other family members or friends who are facing a change in their status and asking them to weigh-in about what they would want if they were in their place.

2. Keep records of all medications, medical records and doctors’ information

3. Review or establish a durable power of attorney, current will, and advance directives

4. Keep a record of where all important documents are stored

5. Audit finances and understand investments and financial transactions

6. Make a copy of medical insurance information

7. Assess the physical environment including stored medications and expiration dates, the refrigerator and its contents, and the general order of things.

The holidays provide you with special moments for connection.   Use your time to pave the way for a future that’s more managed by laying the groundwork for better senior care.

May all your holidays be filled with family, love, and joy!