The Holiday Crisis

The Holiday Crisis

Are you going home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or another holiday? Whether you live across town, out of state or out of the country, the holidays can be a joyous and exciting time to gather with friends and family!  Most years, everything is perfect until something unexpected happens. Many years, it feels like the Grinch is lurking just around the corner, smirking at all the mischief he is about to make.

Many adult children are busy and live far away from their parents, so they fall into the trap of assuming that everything is going well, that independent living is going smoothly and that the parent is still taking medications properly. However, the holiday visit meant to be a time of celebration can be an eye-opening experience if parents are behaving differently.

If you are visiting home and notice that something seems off, you should always act quickly. Arm yourself with information so that you can identify differences between the normal aging process and the onset of dementia (Know the 3 Major Signs of Dementia). Know your options when it comes to choosing trustworthy in-home care or temporary respite care until a long-term solution can be identified.

If you determine that it is no longer safe for your loved one to live alone when you return home this winter, call Senior Care Lifestyles immediately. We can guide you through all of your options and costs, and can quickly assess the situation. You are not alone, but preparation and research will go a long way towards preparing you for the worst.

This month’s newsletter is designed to prepare you for seeing your loved ones again over the holidays. Be proactive and prepare in case a crisis occurs, because the unexpected will eventually happen.

Let’s go!! Below lists the mandatory information you will need to act quickly!

  1. Power of Attorney (POA) – Who is the POA for healthcare? Finances? Is the executed POA more than 5 years old?
    If the senior is suddenly disabled or not cognitively capable of assigning a representative, you must petition the courts for Guardianship.
    *Note: Senior Care Lifestyles can refer you to elder care attorneys that can quickly meet with you and turn around a Power of Attorney.
  2. Financial Resources & Assets – You will need immediate access to funds for care!
    Click here to learn how to talk about finances with your parents

    • Bank Account(s) – Checking & Savings
      Many seniors have multiple accounts in different banks. Is there a safety deposit box? Are the beneficiaries updated?
    • Financial Investments –  Do you have the name of the financial advisor? 
      If you are not the Power of Attorney, advisors cannot share any information!
    • Long-Term Care Insurance – Is there a policy? If so, that’s great! What is the elimination period? The typical time to start receiving benefits is 90 days.
    • VA Benefits – Is your senior a veteran or the spouse of a veteran? Certain benefits are available to assist with care needs depending on the situation. You need to have access to the original DD 214 discharge papers. Does the senior know where they are filed?
  3. Assisted Living – There are 3 Required Documents that are only valid for 30 days that need to be completed before moving into an assisted living community (including respite stay).
    • Health Care Practitioner Assessment Form (HCPF) – This must be completed by a primary physician, certified NP or RN.
    • Maryland MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) – This order form makes your treatment wishes known to health care professionals.
    • Tuberculosis Test – Chest x-ray or skin test

WARNING: Stay away from the large national TV advertisers offering free assisted living searches on the internet and/or calling toll free numbers! Without your knowledge, you are often locked in to national search firms, whether you signed a contract or not. They do not know Maryland, do not tour our assisted living communities and are strictly ‘for profit’ and working off a public directory of licensed facilities. Stay local and work with local Certified Senior Advisors and assisted living placement specialists.

  1. In-Home Care Options – These are the quickest solution until a decision can be made for long-term care. Call Senior Care Lifestyles for best recommendations!

If you have an immediate need, click here to complete a Needs Assessment Form or give us a call at 410-977-3718 and we can navigate you through all options!

We are on stand-by this holiday to help!
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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