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Aging In Acadiana

Sep 24, 2015 08:02AM ● Published by Savannah Ludwig

For many seniors, maintaining an independent lifestyle is a primary concern, even if it’s not in their best interest.

As adult children with ageing parents, the responsibilities of providing short or long term care often falls in your hands. Being prepared before a time of crisis arises can remove some of the anxiety and worry from the situation.

When it's time to talk with your parent(s) about obtaining daily care, assisted living or nursing homes, these talking points can help create a more healthy discussion.

Beginning the conversation

  Raise the issues indirectly

  Find small ways to bridge the issue

  Share your own emotions

  Set the right tone

  Use communication that states your concern and avoids criticism

  Avoid role reversal

Focus on these key issues

  Where they live

  Their everyday activities

  How they get around

  Their health

  Their finances

  How they pay for health care

Dealing with resistance

Your parents may not want to talk about these issues. Some resistance is normal.

-Respect your parents’ feelings when they make it clear they want to avoid a subject. Try again later using another approach.

-Consider pushing the issue if your parents’ health or safety is at risk. While your parents have a right to be in charge of their own lives, some crisis situations — such as health care expenses depleting a bank account — may call for you to intervene. If so, act firmly but with compassion.

-Involve other family members or friends. You may want to hold a family meeting where 

 everyone can discuss concerns and develop a plan to help.

-Find out about community resources to help your parents remain independent, such as transportation or home health care, and share the options with them.

Be prepared to let your parents make their own life choices, even if you don’t agree with them. You should set your own limits as to how involved you can be. If the living situation is unsafe, you may need to bring in a third party to intervene.

Common Life and Living Options for the elderly:

Nursing Home

Nursing homes are private institutions providing 24 hour care to those individuals who cannot care for themselves.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities provide nursing care and supervision for the disabled and elderly

    who need assistance and monitoring but not 24 hour care.  

Adult Day Care

Adult day care centers are designed for older adults who can no longer manage independently, or who are isolated and lonely. They enable seniors to socialize with others while still receiving needed care services. At the same time, they offer caregivers a break from caregiving duties while knowing their loved one is in good hands.

Programs and facilities providing local and/or regional adult day care services include:  

PACE® Lafayette (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a nonprofit health and supportive services program designed to assist seniors who want an alternative to long-term care placement. PACE® is sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) - the parent company of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center - the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).

Dr. Susan E. Nelson, Medical Director for PACE Baton Rouge/Lafayette, explains, “The PACE program is an All-Inclusive program that coordinates and provides all needed preventative, primary health, acute and long term care services for the eligible enrollees.” To be eligible for PACE®, enrollees must meet certain age, location and income requirements. For complete program details contact 337.470.4500

The Lafayette Council on Aging is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the well-being of the elderly by providing an expanding and innovative range of services delivered with respect, care and compassion; upholding the dignity and independence of the individual. Their programs are aimed at reaching those most in need of services and who find themselves alone, isolated, lonely and in need. The main goal of the Council is to keep the elderly living at home as long as possible and to enrich the quality of life. For additional information visit www.lad-coa.org

The Cajun Area Agency on Aging is also a non profit organization catering to persons 60  years and older. The agency’s goal is to provide assistance to help the elderly living at home for as long as possible through service contracts with providers and monitoring. Parishes included are Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermillion. For additional information visit www.cajunaaa.org

Sources: Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs – Louisiana: www.goea.louisiana.gov, Louisiana department of Health and Hospitals: www.dhh.louisiana.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: www.HHS.gov, U.S. Government: www.USA.gov, U.S. Government/Medicare: www.medicare.gov, National PACE® Association: www.npaonline.org, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System-PACE-Lafayette: www.fmolhs.org, AARP Caregiver Resource Center: www.aarp.org, Lafayette Counsel on Aging: www.lad-coa.org, Cajun Area Agency on the Aging: www.cajunaaa.org


Acadiana Life, Family PACE Lourdes Hospital Aging in Acadiana Lafayette Council on Aging Face Magazine Lafayette

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