Recently I was asked to talk to a group of ladies about what I have learned in my years of working with the elderly. After much thought on the subject, I narrowed it down to six things.
Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, P.A. participated in the walk for Alzheimer’s. Our staff along with some of our friends walked with us. Our team raised a total of $825 for Alzheimer’s. Our team motto was “We Offer Hope.”
The walk was a fun and uplifting event. We are determined to double our numbers next year.
- As we age, life becomes more complicated. It is important to have in place a Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. With these documents you can let others know what you want and you are able to choose who you want to make decisions when or if you become unable. If you do not have these documents, it will be necessary to go through the court system and have a guardian appointed. I remember one year my dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him, “All I want is for you to get your estate planning in order”. He got his documents in order. In dad’s last years, I realized that was the best present he ever gave to me.
- There are a lot of people looking to take advantage of the elderly – scams from the public such as telemarketers, extended family and friends. One example is Long Term Care Insurance salesmen – make sure you KNOW what you are getting and do not let the fine print go unread. For those people who are being bombarded by junk mail, there is the do not mail list. If you are being bombarded by tele-marketers, you can sign up for the do not call list. All you need to do is call me and I will be happy to provide you with the information to sign up for these services.
- Stay active. Exercise regularly. As you age, the best thing to do is stay active. The benefits are that it prevents osteoporosis, keeps you limber, is good for muscles, helps you to breath better and have better circulation. There is some truth to the old adage “use it or lose it.” If you begin to fall, do not try to stop yourself, just attempt to sit down or land on the softer parts of your body. Many times as we age, a fractured hip will break before you fall and that is actually the cause of your fall not the result of your fall.
- Eat well balanced, healthy regular meals. Eat smaller portions, more fruit and fiber and less fat. Because we are not as active as were when we were younger, we can eat smaller portions and be satisfied. It takes about 15 minutes from the time that you begin eating until the body begins to register how full you are getting.
- Take your medicines regularly. Communicate with your doctor or pharmacist. Learn the side effects. Find out when you should expect changes. If you don’t see those changes, let your doctor know so that you can get something different. If a doctor starts you on a medication, do not just assume that you are going to need to be on that medication for the remainder of your life. You may need to, but check with your doctor if you do not notice any change in a few weeks. Maybe that medicine is not actually what you need.The Annual Election Period for Medicare Part D is November 15 to December 31, 2010. If you need to make changes to your current Medicare options, you can do so at www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
- Reduce Stress. Let people help you. Look for ways to avoid accidents. Do not take unnecessary chances. I was recently talking to a friend. Her parent was on a ladder try to repair the garage door and fell and broke a bone. She said that turned out to be a very expensive garage door.
These are just a few of the things I have learned throughout my years of working with the elderly. We at Clinkscales Elder Law Practice focus on helping families deal with the complexities of chronic illness and other issues of aging. We provide a customized plan to establish and maintain our clients’ estate plan; preserve and protect the family assets; and coordinate available public, private and government services to benefit the family. We focus on maximizing our clients independence for as long as possible giving them the ability to age with dignity. If we can help you or someone else you know with an estate plan or life plan, let us know.
Maybe you are not sure if you need our help. Just call my co-worker, Jean Johnson 785-625-8040 for a short interview to help you determine if you have a plan of action that meets your goals.