• SERVICES

    Preferred Living Solutions helps seniors and people with disabilities manage their current situation, plan for future needs and assist in making adjustments as needs evolve. more…

  • FIDUCIARY SERVICES

    Preferred Living Solutions can be your health power of attorney, durable power of attorney, estate executor, household bill management and more…

  • TESTIMONIALS

 

Stroke warning signs: live prepared

February 13, 2017

stroke warning signsStroke warning signs, can you quickly and easily name them? The National Stroke Association suggests using the term FAST to help you recognize common stroke warning signs.

F for face

A for arms

S for speech difficulty

T for time

It is critically important to call 911 so that you can get to a hospital and life-saving treatment as quickly as possible.  Remember: you don’t have to exhibit all the symptoms or warning signs to be having a stroke.

To help the emergency medical service (EMS) workers help you, always have a current list of your medications and dosing instructions, a list of known allergies, emergency contact name and telephone number posted on your refrigerator or in a Vial of Life in your refrigerator. Make a habit of regularly checking your medications list for recent changes.

Talk with your family, friends and neighbors about your health. Have a “grab and go” bag that contains copies of your insurance cards, photo ID, emergency contact information, and essential legal documents such as a living will, 5 wishes document, power of attorney documents.

 

Same day medical procedures

February 09, 2017

same day medical proceduresSame day medical procedures that require support from a care partner or a friend can be a challenge to organize and schedule.

Have you or your loved ones been postponing a same day medical procedure (cataracts, endoscopy, colonoscopy, etc.) because you need someone to accompany you, wait for you throughout the procedure (required by physician) and drive you home after your procedure?

Our professional, experienced care managers offer personalized services for same day medical procedures including:

Assistance with pre & post op instructions to promote a successful recovery

Accompany patient to pre op appointment

Pick up and deliver pre op medications and supplies

Reminders and/or assistance with pre-op instructions

Transport patient to procedure

Remain on premises during procedure

Receive discharge and follow-up instructions on behalf of patient

Transport patient home

Confirm that patient is able to safely manage activities of daily living

Follow-up call the day after procedure

Childless boomer in search of circle of care

January 22, 2017

childless boomerChildless boomer is a term coined by the aging professional community.

A childless boomer is defined as someone who reaches old age with no family or friends left that can provide care for him/her. A shortage of caregivers in our aging society is already a serious issue and is projected to worsen.

Baby boomers need to be proactive about addressing the questions that inevitably accompany the aging years. Conversations, even with oneself, about old age and end of life are difficult. Start by writing down worries, concerns, and try to answer the hard questions about dying and death.

  • What happens if I no longer can drive?
  • Who will support me during a hospitalization and after discharge to home?
  • Who will help me manage my monthly bills?
  • Where should I live when I no longer can manage my residence independently?
  • How will I maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, recreation, exercise, etc.?

These questions and more likely will lead to a need for dialogues with loved ones, trusted healthcare providers, spiritual leaders and legal counsel. In turn, these dialogues help to build a circle of care – a team of care managers and care providers.

Resources that help facilitate difficult end of life planning conversations include:

  • Five Wishes: this is a type of living will, (written with assistance from The American Bar Association) that can be accessed online or you can order a hard copy. Unlike other living will formats, Five Wishes addresses your personal, emotional and spiritual desires along with your medical wishes. Once the document has been completed and signed, it is valid in most states. The document speaks for you in the event you are seriously ill and cannot speak for yourself. No one will have to guess what you want. It is easy to complete.
  • Advance directives: healthcare Power of Attorney (PoA), durable Power of Attorney (DPoA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Authorization, estate plan (will or trust). You can seek an attorney’s guidance or download documents from the Web to designate who and under what circumstances will someone you appoint act on your behalf.

Working through these exercises and documents is a way to identify and name the people that you want on your team. A childless boomer, parents of an only child, estranged families are examples of individuals and circumstances where one may need to look beyond traditional family supports  for trustworthy friends or professionals to serve as your health or financial proxy.

“The key thing is choosing someone who will enforce the decisions that you’ve already made.”
— Bert Rahl, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

Source: Next Avenue July 23, 2015 article Who Will Provide Care for Childless Boomers?

 

Household monthly bills

December 28, 2016

household monthly billsWhen did managing the household monthly bills become so burdensome to my mom? For 50+ years Mom ran the household, an early version of “Momager”.

Recently though, as the macular degeneration continues to weaken Mom’s vision, her daily chores take longer and her patience is short. When I visit I see the mail stacked up on the kitchen table, some of it still unopened. She fusses that the cable bill increased again but brushes me off when I ask to see a statement. She worries about the cost of her most recent hospitalization and complains that her insurance EOBs do not match up with the most recent medical bills.

I wish I could visit more than a few times each year. I wish that she would let me manage her accounts for her online. I sometimes think about re-routing her mail to my mailing address but realize that I don’t have that authority.

I think that Mom is willing to accept help to review, pay and file household monthly bills and to represent her on telephone calls with her insurance company and her healthcare providers. She wants someone that is a professional, is certified, and can provide references from past/present clients. Mom is on a fixed income but I would gladly help cover the costs. Aging life care professionals range in price from $75-$100/hour. Mom’s needs easily could be managed in about an hour/month.

I would welcome someone to help manage Mom’s monthly household bills. This person would be a blessing to me. Mom and I wouldn’t have the tense conversations that disrupt our visits now. I would worry less that bills are going unpaid or that she may fall victim to a financial scam. Mom and I would have mother-daughter time again.

Preferred Living Solutions offers an initial, free 1 hour consultation. Care managers work with you to customize a plan that meets your unique needs.

Adult children home for the holidays

December 27, 2016

adult children home for the holidaysAdult children home for the holidays, like me, are back to our own daily routines with new worries and concerns. It was fun to see brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, Mom and Dad BUT. It was disconcerting to see how much older our parents seem this year.

Their house, OMG, well – you can tell that Mom needs to see an eye doctor about her vision problems.  Her kitchen was always spotless but this year, spots and stains were everywhere – on her appliances, the floor, even her cabinets!

I took out Christmas Eve leftovers so everyone could make sandwiches. Again, another OMG, the mayo expired in 2015. Salad dressing, don’t even get me started, the bottle of ranch dressing is the same one from my college days.

Mom said she is so tired of cooking and Dad won’t tell her what he wants to eat. They go to the cafeteria most nights which is fine except they bring home leftovers. Squirreled away in the back of the refrigerator I found containers with: 2 teaspoons of moldy carrot raisin salad, a black blob that used to be a ½ banana, and 3 bites of meatloaf leftover from their “splurge” takeout from Boston Market. We persuaded her to try Meals on Wheels or even trying one of the meal delivery services. She said okay but I am certain that she won’t make the phone call.

John sneaked into the study while we all watched Christmas Vacation and found unpaid bills, open envelopes with new credit cards ready to be activated, and enough holiday cards and stickers from charities to last for years to come. I think Mom and Dad are struggling to keep up with monthly bill paying. They think they have to send money to every charity that asks but they need that money for themselves. We can’t even bring in a housekeeping service with all their financial information and credit cards out in the open for anyone to see!

We don’t know what to do. I’m so worried now.  They won’t tell us what is going on when we call once a week. I guess I’ll have to start visiting every 1-2 months even though it is a 3 hour drive one way and what about my own housekeeping chores, the kids’ soccer practice and church activities.

This story about adult children home for the holidays may describe your own aging family situation or that of your co-worker or neighbor. The good news is that there are options and solutions to meet your loved one’s unique needs. The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) can help you find a professional, certified Aging Life Care expert (also called a geriatric care manager).  Most offer a free initial consultation.

Our experienced team of Aging Life Care Managers at Preferred Living Solutions serves Wake and surrounding counties. Whether you and your loved ones think it may be time to move Mom or Dad to assisted living, need help with monthly bill paying, need a knowledgeable representative at medical appointments that will ask questions and take notes to share with you, or answers about community resources, we can help.

Call us today at 919-554-0675.