Aging In Acadiana
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 conversationRaise 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
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 homes are private institutions providing 24 hour care to those individuals who cannot care for themselves.
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