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SpokaneInnovaging2014

CHAPTER TWO n ADDRESSING HOUSING ISSUES Note to Seniors: Plan for Change! By Becky Tiller, MA, LMHC, Tiller Care Strategies If I had some advice to they would consider going into assisted to being overlooked for promotions or give to our elder popu- living, before a medical emergency or the forces the individual to quit his/her job lation as someone who death of a spouse occurs. Assisted livings when it becomes too difficult to juggle has worked in the field facilities are not the nursing homes of the the responsibilities. of aging for 28 years, past—the industry has made significant We also see adult children struggle it would be to actively improvements to attract elders to want to between honoring their parent’s wishes plan. Plan, plan and live there. and being forced to make unpopular plan!! Participate in We advocate participating with their fam- decisions out of concern for their safety your future. ily or trusted loved ones in making their and wellbeing. They are placed in the If it is your intention to live into your wishes known—from housing choices to awful position of making the difficult, mature years, are you willing to take end of life choices. This includes identify- sometimes impossible decisions due to chances and let “the chips fall where they ing a trusted individual(s) to make health the elder’s lack of planning; or resistance may?” or do wish to have a say in your care decisions and to handle financial to even discussing options or alternatives. remaining years? decisions through establishing powers of Planning also takes the decision out of attorney when the elder is no longer able the adult child’s hands and prevents I marvel at the number of times people or no longer has capacity. conflict amongst the family. We witness tell us they don’t need any assistance first hand the toll the stress places on as if it’s a badge of courage. It’s not; it’s Gone are the days when we could rest in adult children; which often manifests in not taking personal responsibility for the the knowledge our family will be there a decline in their own mental well being inevitable decline in your health and/or to provide for us as we age and become and/or physical health. functioning. No one gets out of here alive infirm. Our society has become transient. folks and most often there’s quite a dis- Families are scattered around the country I urge our elders to look into resources tance between when the decline begins and even around the world. We often including housing options BEFORE the and when you die. hear our elders say, “I never want to be crisis occurs so your loved ones know a burden to my children;” yet they resist your preferences. Please don’t assume Too often my team of geriatric care accepting assistance or utilizing resources they know. Be willing to consider alter- managers and I shake our heads and say that could maintain their independence natives, take preventative measures and “this could have been avoided.” Had the for a much longer period of time. realistically problem solve. Talk to a elder been willing to acknowledge their trusted professional with some knowl- struggles in managing their home and/ Adult children often feel trapped by the edge of aging resources like your primary or performing their activities of daily expectation of their parent, to either live care physician, elder law attorney or a living; if they would accept assistance with them or at the very least provide the geriatric care manager. Be part of the in their home or consider a retirement support necessary for them to remain in solution, not the problem. community, a crisis could be avoided. In their home. This often forces the adult addition, their independence and quality child to choose between a career and/or of life could be maintained; changed but their own families’ needs and that of their maintained. Life is change; we cannot aging parent. prevent change from occurring with our Many employers will work with their bodies, with our living circumstances and employees within reason around meet- with those in our lives. ing the needs of their aging parents but If the elder would just consider downsiz- often individuals in these positions must ing; adapting their home for safety; or if take extended time off which may lead Becky Tiller is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Geriatric Mental Health Specialist. For more information visit our website at www.tillercare.com. You may also contact us at: 509-327-7331. THE OPINIONS OFFERED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION ONLY. TO FURTHER EXPLORE THIS TOPIC, THE PUBLISHER ENCOURAGES YOU TO CONTACT TRUSTED PROFESSIONALS. 70


SpokaneInnovaging2014
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