When an elderly parent or loved one nears the end of his or her life, hospice care may be a viable option. A person is eligible for hospice care when the doctor determines life expectancy to be six months or less. Also, hospice may be an option if it’s determined that further tests and treatments are no longer effective, and will instead add to or cause suffering.

What is hospice?

The Hospice Foundation of America defines hospice as “a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.” Hospice care is provided by professionals with specialized knowledge of medical care — including pain management (palliative care) — and doesn’t prolong or hasten death, according to the HFA. Rather, the main goal of hospice is to offer a person suffering from chronic or terminal illness comfort and dignity. Emotional, social and spiritual support is also available for the patient and his or her family during this sensitive time.

A person’s hospice care likely takes place in a care facility, but can occur at home if circumstances allow it.

Related: HFA’s Understanding Hospice Fact Sheet

Home hospice

When home hospice care is provided, nurses are either on hand or on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These hospice care professionals can perform most of the procedures provided by a hospital or care facility, including administering medicine, set up IVs, do blood work, etc. Hospice professionals also keep family members informed on the progress of their loved one’s condition.

Related: Hospice: Conquering common misconceptions (via Chicago Tribune)

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions — currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa — provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the options available for those in need of hospice care and related end of life conditions.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”

Mary’s mother had been stubborn her entire life — with money and opinions (right or wrong), with driving routes and restaurants to eat at (a rare treat for a frugal woman like Mary’s mom). Now since dad was gone, Mary’s mother was living alone.

One thing Mary’s mother was never stubborn about was listening to the doctor. So on a recent visit, Mary found it odd that her mother was no longer taking her medication for her high blood pressure.

“Is something wrong?” Mary asked.

Her mother, usually stubborn as the cabinets bolted to the kitchen wall, seemed confused and shook off the fact that she’d forgotten to take her medication.

Mary was concerned, wondering how long this had been going on for. Her mother couldn’t give her a solid answer, so Mary took action. She went down to the pharmacist and asked for a printout of the medications her mother purchcased and if they were refilled on schedule. The results weren’t good.

It had been months since Mary’s elderly mother had taken her high blood pressure medication, which without it put her at far greater risk for heart attack and stroke. Her mother’s increased confusion was raising an alarm as well.

So what did Mary do?

After a doctor’s visit, it was discovered that Mary’s mother was showing the early signs of Alzheimer’s. Since Mary had a full time job and children of her own to take care of, she couldn’t make sure her mother was taking her medication on time and properly taking care of herself. After many stressful days of balancing far too many things at once than a healthy adult should, Mary was forced to consider taking her mother to a nursing home. Luckily, she found relief by seeking the advice and services of an in-home senior care provider.

An elder care manager provided great support, helping to set up doctor appointments and scheduling regular in-home visits from experienced registered nurses to make sure medications were taken on time, ensuring the overall care of Mary’s mother. As difficult as it was for Mary and the rest of her family to see their stubborn matriarch slowing down, there was great peace-of-mind knowing she was in the good hands of an elder care provider, and would be able to enjoy her final years happy, and in her own home.

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions, currently serving Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the options available for people like Mary’s mother.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”

Caring for an elderly parent can be an overwhelming experience. For one, there’s the stress related to seeing the health of someone close to you deteriorate. Two, the role reversal of caring for the person who cared for you so much of your life can be emotionally unsettling, to say the least. Not to mention the time it takes to give your elderly parent proper care — balancing work, family and friends all along the way.

That’s why in order to give the best care you need to first take care of yourself.

Help is always available from the knowledgable and experienced staff of senior care providers, such as Encompass Senior Solutions.

An article in the Huffington Post by author John Shore offers “15 Ways to Stay Sane While Caring For an Elderly Parent.” Below, we’ve summarized the key points of the article for you.

    • Don’t neglect yourself. Make the time to go for a walk, watch your favorite shows, eat healthy and spend quality time having fun away from caregiving. This will help rejuvenate you and likewise will make you a better caregiver.

 

    • Take things slow. It’s new territory for both you and your elderly parent. Shore suggests you both let the process reveal itself and unfold organically.

 

    • Accept change. The role reversal of who’s-caring-for-whom can be very difficult to adjust to. Shore advises to “write a whole new script,” where old methodologies, emotions and roles may not apply.

 

    • Don’t expect any emotional revelations. While it would certainly be wonderful if your parent suddenly opened up to your emotionally and spiritually, don’t expect any sort of thing to happen. Rather, go in with no expectations and be surprised.

 

    • Show them respect. Even if you’re calling most of the shots, by offering your elderly parent as much autonomy as possible — giving options versus ordered — it’s a sign that they still have control over their own life. Likewise, don’t be surprised if they act angry or upset, give them the same respect they’ve earned from you your entire life. Also, asking their advice on various things shows you still trust, love and respect them.

 

    • Shore: “Love your health care providers.” The expert advice and support provide by the healthcare professionals also taking are of your elderly parent is priceless at such a sensitive time in both you and your parent’s life. Remember to treat well all who are helping — nurses, doctors, social workers, physical therapists, etc.

 

    • Look to your spouse for support. Oftentimes, according to Shore, your parent may be more comfortable relating to your spouse than you. This is likely because your parent has never been a dominant force in your spouse’s life, making them peers in a way. Let this relationship work the best it can for all parties involved.

 

    • Expect insane siblings. Aside from the emotional roller coaster associated with dying parents, there’s all that come along with it: your parent’s will, their possessions, their house, money and assets, etc. Shore is right on to suggest you stay away from participating in the madness, so long as you protect yourself.

 

    • Don’t let your parent get under your skin. Your parent is a master of driving you crazy, as they know exactly what your triggers are. Protect yourself from petty emotions episodes. Shore suggests using the Seinfeld-esque motto, “No buttons for you!”

 

  • Find outlets to let go of the stress. Things such as talking regularly with a friend and praying/meditating can go a long way in helping you not only deal with the stress of caregiving, but also helps your emotional health. Remember, no one really knows what happens when we die — there are bigger things out there.

Are there any tips for staying sane that Shore missed? Let us know in the comments.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”

Kidneys play a vital in the overall health of a person at all stages of life. The bean-shaped organs that lie just below the ribcage in the back of the abdomen help purify the body of toxins as well as regulate bodily fluids such as electrolytes, stabilize blood pressure and even produce red blood cells. The elderly are at higher risk for renal failure than younger people — as the body ages so do the kidneys, especially after decades of working to cleanse the body of all sorts of impurities. Even though the early signs of renal failure can be subtle, when taking care of an elderly loved one it’s important to be aware of seemingly un-worrisome symptoms such as loss of appetite or increased/decreased urination.

There are two types of renal failure: acute and chronic.

Acute renal failure

As it suggests, acute renal failure comes on rapidly, with symptoms noticeable with in days, weeks or months. The elderly are more prone to acute failure, especially if they have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with weight and/or heart, kidney or liver problems. If symptoms are recognized and treated early, conditions resulting from acute renal failure are usually curable.

Common symptoms include:

    • Decreased urine output

 

    • Fluid retention causing swelling in the feet, ankles and legs

 

    • Increased urination at night

 

    • Drowsiness/fatigue

 

    • Nausea

 

    • Confusion

 

    • Back pain (above the waist, below the ribcage)

 

    • Loss of appetite

 

    • Chest pain/pressure

 

    • Nosebleeds

 

  • Bloody stools

Some cases of acute renal failure show no symptoms and are detected through lab tests.

Related: Who’s at risk for kidney disease (via National Kidney Disease Education Program)

Chronic renal failure

Unlike acute renal failure, chronic renal failure is a gradual process, taking place over years. People who are at increased risk include those diagnosed with diabetes, lupus, bladder cancer, scleroderma, vasculitis and a variety of kidney problems. Since the onset of chronic renal failure is so subtle, it often goes unnoticed until it’s too late to reverse the symptoms, resulting in eventual death. Many symptoms are shared between chronic and acute renal failure, with chronic symptoms increasing in severity.

Common symptoms include:

    • Change in color of urine

 

    • Increased urination at night

 

    • Water retention in the body (face, hands, legs, feet, ankles)

 

    • Unusual fatigue/weekness

 

    • Itching and dry skin

 

    • Loss of appetite

 

    • Nausea/dizziness/headaches

 

    • Vomiting (typically in morning)

 

    • Breathing problems

 

    • Back pain

 

    • Bone aches

 

    • Muscle pain/cramps

 

    • Paleness of skin/nails

 

    • Excessive thirst

 

    • Unusual weight loss

 

    • Numbness in the hands and feet

 

    • Bad breath

 

    • Easy bruising

 

    • Bloody stool

 

  • Sleeping problems

Related: Chronic kidney disease (via National Library of Medicine)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZG7GKZZR78

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions, currently serving Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the options available for your elderly loved one who showing symptoms of kidney failure.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”

Who we are and what we can do

The professionals at Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living provide comprehensive in-home assessments, services and resources to people with the goal of helping them remain in their home environment.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living was developed by a social work professional who has years of experience working with people who are elderly and/or have disabilities, is familiar with the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas and who is connected with quality personnel at the local agencies who can help your loved one. Today, Physicians’ Choice is staffed by a team of professionals to personally work with each client and their family.

We strive to provide education and support to help your loved ones make their own decisions as long as possible, and enabling them to be as independent as possible. We advocate for your loved one while providing emotional support and assistance. We work with you to create a customized service solution which maximizes quality of life and peace of mind for both you and your loved.

Physicians’ Choice can help with a variety of elder care needs, including when:

    • Your loved one seems isolated or lives far away from those who can help.

 

    • Your loved one is receiving services from several different sources and could benefit from increased communication between them.

 

    • Your loved one seems to need assistance making decisions.

 

    • Your loved experiences multiple crises and nothing seems to help.

 

    • Your loved one seems to need assistance but is not sure which services to seek or how.

 

    • Family members disagree on decisions regarding the care of your loved one.

 

    • You suspect your loved one may be vulnerable to abuse, neglect or exploration.

 

    • Your loved one has a medically complicated situation that is becoming overwhelming.

 

    • Your loved one desires to stay in their home but needs help meeting their needs.

 

By utilizing a multi-disciplinary team, Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living is able to see the big picture unique to every family. After the assessment we can give a clear picture of what is going on and what needs to happen in order for your loved one to remain as independent as possible. Our plan, or guide book, not only looks at all the options available, it also allows the family to make the necessary decisions to ensure their elderly loved one remains in their home safely for as long as possible. The answer may be just a phone call away.

“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.private-duty.pchhc.com.”

With a record-setting high temperatures currently sweeping across large portions of the United States, heat stroke is a rising concern among people over the age of 65, who are more prone to heat stroke then younger people. According to the Center for Disease Control, this is due to a number of factors. For one, elderly people do not adjust to sudden changes in temperature as well as young people do. Two, elderly people are more likely to have medical conditions that changes how their bodies respond to heat. Likewise, they are more likely to take prescription drugs that inhibit perspiration or make it harder for their bodies to regulate its temperature.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a type of hyperthermia that occurs when the body can’t control its temperature. When someone’s body temperature rises rapidly, it loses the ability to sweat and can’t cool down properly. Heat stroke comes on fast: in 10 to 15 minutes, body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher. Without emergency treatment, heat stroke can cause permanent disabilities and even death.

What are the signs?

Early signs of heat stroke are the same as heat exhaustion, followed by symptoms similar to those of a heart attack. Other common symptoms include:

  • High body temperature
  • Lack of sweat
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Flushed, dry skin
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Strange behavior/hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Seizure/coma

How to prevent heat stroke

Making sure an elderly person is in a cool place and is hydrated will help prevent heat stroke. If you know your aging parent is at risk and you’re unable to physically be there to take care of them, make sure someone is checking in on them once or twice daily. Some more ways to help prevent heat stroke include:

  • Keeping hydrated
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or fluids with high amounts of sugars — these can cause the body to lose more fluid
  • Staying indoors in the air-conditioning
  • If air-conditioning isn’t available, electric fans can help
  • Wearing loose fitting, light-colored and lightweight clothing
  • Limiting outdoor activity
  • Keeping well-rested
  • Avoiding strenuous activities

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions, currently serving Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the options available for your elderly loved one who is possibly at risk for heat stroke and related complications.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”

Photo by zilverbat. via Flickr

George, 82, has been driving since he was 15. He’s driven coast to coast multiple times as a young man and always enjoyed being the designated chauffeur during family vacations and on Sunday drives to the country. George still likes to drive to the grocery and chat with the clerks. He still likes to drive to the gas station to fill up his car the second Saturday of each month. It’s second nature to him, as driving has been a part of his life since he was a teenager. The thought of giving it up simply goes against his decades-old daily routines.

Still, George’s children, who live out-of-state and have busy lives of their own, worry about his driving. In on a recent visit, they noticed declines in George’s hearing and sight and overall motor skills. The red flag was when they received a call from George’s neighbors that he’d back into their car parked across the street two times in one week. George’s children knew it was time for him to hand over the keys, as their elderly father now is a danger to himself and other drivers on the road. Although his health is good overall, the signs of aging are beginning to catch up with the 82-year-old.

No longer being able to drive can be hard to take for someone like George who’s been behind the wheel for 50-plus years, as a fundamental part of their independence is suddenly gone.

If you’re concerned with the safety of your elderly loved one behind the wheel, plan on discussing it as soon as possible. Help and advice is always available via senior care providers such as Encompass Senior Solutions.

Related:

Senior Driving: Safety Tips, Warning Signs and Knowing When to Stop (helpguide.org)

10 Signs That it’s Time to Stop or Limit Driving (AARP)

Below, we’ve provided some tips on how to approach elderly drivers if you believe them to be unfit to drive.

    • First, identify the signs that your parent has a diminished capacity to drive. Does dad get lost while driving? Have frequent fender benders? Seem confused and is having problems understanding simple instructions? Recent declines in sight, hearing and motor skills?

 

    • Plan out how you’re going to approach your elderly parent. Losing the ability to drive means losing the independence for visiting friends, shopping and other daily tasks. Don’t be discouraged if your parent is angry and defensive, rather go into the conversation with realistic expectations.

 

    • Introduce the subject during a calm and relaxing time of day. Include — don’t alienate — your parent in the decision process.

 

    • Discuss the matter with your elderly parent’s friends, doctors and other family. Having opinions from other people your parent respects can help them make the right decision.

 

  • Don’t make the decision too hastily. Sometimes bringing up the subject then sitting on it a few days before revisiting it allows all involved to reflect on it, thus making the proper decision.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qATZk36zSuI

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”

 

Elderly falls can be caused by a single factor such as simply tripping on a rug, but more often than not falls are caused by a combination of things, including pathological, physiological and environmental factors. As a person ages their risk for falling increases, with statistics showing nearly a third of all people aged 65 and over falling each year. That number climbs to 40% for those 80 and over. There’s no worse feeling then finding out your elderly mother had a fall and was only able to get help after the mailman knocked on the door a day later.

Common risks that lead to falls

An elderly person’s living environment can be full of obstacles that put them at risk for falling. You can help them by fall-proofing their home. Look for potential danger spots and make the necessary changes. Also, installing things such as safety railings and giving your elderly parent a monitoring device can help keep them safe and give you peace of mind.

Common environment risks include:

    • Clutter and other obstacles in the home
    • Loose carpeting or rugs
    • Stairs
    • Slippery bathtubs/showers/floors
    • Improper footwear
    • Improper walking aids
    • Poor lighting

Common neurological risks include:

    • Dementia
    • Delirium (brought on by things such as infection, drugs, alcohol and environmental change)
    • Conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s Disease

Common physical risks include:

    • Visual factors such as cataracts and glaucoma
    • Musculoskeletal factors such as osteoarthritis, foot deformities, muscle weakening
    • Heart/blood flow factors such as a abnormal falls in blood pressure due to standing, medication, etc.

Related: Danger of Falls for the Elderly (MyAgaingParent.com)

What to do when an elderly parent falls

The worst thing to do is ignore it when your aging parent falls, so make an appointment with your general practitioner to assess the fall and tell whether or not it’s an early symptom of a treatable condition or a side effect of medication. Also, do your research to see what can be done to prevent future falls. Consider consulting with an elderly care management service such as Encompass Senior Solutions. A care manager can walk you and your parent through all the necessary steps to help ensure the home is fall proof.

Related: Fall Prevention: 6 Tips to Prevent Falls (Mayo Clinic)

What about repeated falls?

Repeated falls could be a sign of more serious problems such as bone health. A visit to the doctor should be a priority where they can test for conditions such as osteoporosis. Also regular exercise will help increase balance and mobility. Consulting with an elderly care management service is also a good idea to help with not only your elderly parent’s falling, but other possible conditions as well.

Encompass Senior Solutions serving Omaha, Nebraska ” provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system after an elderly parent falls. Contact us today to schedule an assessment and organize a plan that details what to do after an elderly parent falls.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”

Photo by Cristian Bernal | townhero via Fickr

Research by the Center for Disease Control states that strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. And nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people ages 65 or older. Helping an elderly parent recover from a stroke can be a long uphill battle, one your parent’s doctors will help you both through.

What causes a stroke?

Strokes are commonly brought on by a blood clot in the arteries leading to the brain (ischemic stroke), causing “a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain,” according to strokecenter.org. Strokes can also be caused by a blood vessel bursting leading to bleeding into the brain, also known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

Common factors that put someone at risk for a stroke include being over the age of 55, male, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high levels of amino acid in the blood, alcohol use and drug use, among others.

Signs/symptoms of a stroke

Symptoms can arise within a few minutes of the onset of a stroke when brain cells begin to die due to lack of oxygen. The length of a stroke can vary depending on the severity of the stroke. The earlier someone can recognize the symptoms of a stroke, the better, as immediate treatment is crucial to recovery.

Common symptoms include:

    • Dizziness

 

    • Trouble walking

 

    • Loss of balance/coordination

 

    • Numbness/weakness/paralysis on one side of the body

 

    • Changes in vision

 

    • Severe, sudden headache

 

  • Problems with speech

Smaller strokes that sometimes show few or no symptoms are called Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs).

If the symptoms line up and you think your elderly parent might be suffering from a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Related: What Is a Stroke? What Causes a Stroke? (Medical News Today)

The aftermath of a stroke

Brain damage occurs due to the blood supply not being properly restored to the brain. As such, the body parts controlled by the damaged or dead brain cells can no longer function properly. These affects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the stroke and how quickly the blood supply can be returned to the damaged/dead brain cells.

Early treatment can be crucial in diminishing the amount of permanent damage done to brain cells, decreasing the amount of disability.

Recovering from a stroke 

Half of all people who survive a stroke will still have some sort of disability, usually physical, six months afterwards. Formal physical rehabilitation is usually the first step in the recovery process, which aims to restore independence by “improving physical, mental and emotional functions,” according to stroke.org. Although everyone’s recovery will be different, some simple skills usually return first:

    1. Sitting up and balancing

 

    1. Standing

 

    1. Walking

 

  1. Legs usually improve before the hands

Recovering from a stroke is a lifelong journey, so it’s important not to lose hope along the way.

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions, currently serving Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available options available for stroke recovery and related complications.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”

No one ever plans on becoming ill or disabled. That’s why it’s important to have your affairs in order at any given point during your life. Even so, many elderly people who have kept their affairs (financial and otherwise) organized and up-to-date for most of their lives need to be more vigilant than ever as they enjoy their golden years because unforeseen medical complications can leave someone unable to properly care for themselves. Soon bills begin to mount up both at home and in the hospital. The person eventually passes away and their kin are left with bills, the funeral and the estate to deal with — all in the midst of mourning.

Planning for the future can alleviate many of these problems. Even if someone is in good health in their old age, it’s recommended to having the following information up-to-date just in case something happens.

Personal records*

For personal records, make sure these items are organized, documented and up-to-date:

    • Full legal name

 

    • Social Security number

 

    • Legal residence

 

    • Date and place of birth

 

    • Names/addresses of spouse and children (or location of death certificates)

 

    • Location of living will

 

    • Location of birth certificate, certificate(s) of marriage, divorce, citizenship, adoption, passport etc.

 

    • Employers and dates of employment

 

    • Medications taken regularly

 

    • Education/military records

 

    • Religion, name of church and names of clergy (if applicable)

 

    • Names and address of close friends, relatives, doctors, lawyer/financial advisor, etc.

 

    • Preferred funeral and burial arrangements

 

Financial records*

 

As with personal information, it’s best to keep financial records — including all assets, debts and insurance policies — organized, thorough and well-documented.

 

  • Sources of income and assets including employer, pension funds, 401Ks, etc.

 

  • Investment income (stocks, bonds, property plus stock brokers’ names/addresses/emails)

 

  • Insurance policy info (health, home, car, etc. plus agents’ names/addresses/emails)

 

  • Bank account info (checking, savings, credit union plus account numbers)

 

  • Deeds, trust, car titles, etc.

 

  • Other investments (including jewelry and art)

 

  • Social Security/Medicare info

 

  • Location of safe deposit boxes and keys

 

  • Copy of most recent income tax return

 

  • Copy of will

 

  • Liabilities

 

  • Mortgages and debts

 

  • Credit card info

 

  • Property tax info

 

  • Location of all personal items such as jewelry and family treasures

Living will

Make sure the living will has been updated recently. Oftentimes people make their first wills as young adults after they’ve been married or had children. Thirty years down the road, however, you can imagine how much a person’s life has changed, and so should their will. Make sure the will includes vital end-of-life directions, such as a Do Not Resuscitate order.

Related: Living Wills Increasingly Wise for Seniors (CBS)

Power of attorney

If an elderly parent becomes ill and is no longer able to make decisions on their own, taking care of everyday things such as bills become impossible. That’s why it’s necessary for someone to be designated with power of attorney. Oftentimes spouses or children are trusted with this duty.

Related: Caring for Elderly Parents (U.S. State Department)

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions, serving Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available options and help families maneuver through the challenges of the system.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today.

*Info via uuca-md.org

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”