Vail Daily column: How to help loved ones with aging
August 11, 2014
Are you planning a visit to see your aging parents? Are you overwhelmed?
How do you help Mom and Dad or any loved one with aging?
This topic was addressed this past week during the Preventative and Planning Symposium held at Battle Mountain High School. It is also the subject of many phone calls to our office. Many of these inquiries come from adult children who are in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
Guess what age group(s) mentioned above did not show up to the symposium to get answers to the questions they have called us to ask? It's not the 60 year olds. Why? Was the reality of the subject matter overwhelming or fear provoking? Or was it that the symposium was held on a Friday during work hours and thus people had to take time off work to attend?
TELL US WHAT YOU NEED
The reasoning is neither here nor there. However, in order to for use to better share the information we have with the community, we really would like to hear how those interested in this subject matter would be best presented with the education. So I ask you to write a quick letter to the editor and let us know.
If writing a letter to the editor is not for you or is too time consuming, please call our office. We will do whatever we can to assist.
TAKE ACTION TO HELP YOUR PARENTS
Watching our parents and loved ones decline in their ability to take care of themselves is neither easy nor comfortable. Often, the sadness of coping with their decline causes many of us such anxiety and fear that we become paralyzed.
If you are one of the millions of adult children who lives far away and can't actually tell if your folks' claim that "everything's just fine!" is really accurate, please, take some action.
At the Symposium, we passed out two fantastic pieces of information. Each was provided by AARP and each is packed with great information. Insight on speaking with your loved ones about their aging, finding support and resources, and making a plan are well detailed.
Here is the website and the name of the two resource guides:
• Go to http://www.aarp.org/ and type "Prepare-to-Care Resource Guide" in the search box. Mid-page you will find the hyperlink.
• Go to http://www.aarp.org/ and type "A Planning Guide for Families" in the search box. In the fifth paragraph, you will find the hyperlink.
Assisting a senior family member or any loved one in a way that empowers them and gives them the option to stay in their own home, as opposed to a assisted living facility, can be a daunting process that takes time, patience and an education.
If you have questions and need some direction on what you can do to help your aging loved ones, call our office. Or call the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Community Living Services at 970-468-0295. You can also call the Eagle County Aging Well program at 970-328-8896.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. For more information, go to http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns or call 970-328-5526.