The goal of Aging Parents Management is to offer information and resources to help you become better prepared and aware of the responsibilities as the Caregiver of your elderly parent.
It is not an easy journey to define - meaning when is going to happen. Many times it happens unexpectedly as a result of a change in a parent's health situation. This is usually how many of us find ourselves in this role for the first time.
According to statistics provided by the Area on Aging of Bucks County, patients are typically discharged from hospitals/rehab and return home to an untrained caregivers and an unprepared home environment.
This is exactly what happened to my sister and I when our Dad was released from Rehab following a stroke. We were not prepared for any of it.
The discharge nurse told us that Dad was going home in a few days.
We assumed that we could handle it.
That first night home with our Dad was horrible.
Not for him,
for my sister!
We should have had a plan for that first night home!
"Aging In Place" is a term used to describe a person remaining in their residence as they age for as long as they are able to do so. This would also include being able to receive any medical or health services and support that they might need over time as their situation changes.
Today, this is the decision that many of our parents are choosing as their long-term living arrangement. It is a decision requires thought and planning. It all starts with a conversation with your parents and an honest assessment of their home.
It is important to examine all areas of their home or yours to determine if they are able to live there short term or long term with any physical and health limitations. Sometimes the home will make the decision for you, as it was our case.
With Aging In Place, time will be on your side because the progression happens more slowly. As the health situation of your loved one diminishes, you are making changes to their living situation.
As the Caregiver, it will be your responsibility to regularly reassess the condition of their home and to modify their Care Plan throughout the Aging-In-Place process; as long as the primary objectives can be met: keeping them safe, comfortable and delivering their care needs.
To help you through this process, we have broken it down into three parts - Assessment, Preparation and Action. When you are ready to begin the planning process, visit our service plan called "Mapping the Elderhood Journey".
I'm not ready to be my parents' Caregiver.
Do my parents have any long-term care plans in place?
Aging- In -Place
The Aging Parents Academy "Mapping The Elderhood Journey" is a self-guided program to help you become prepared for when your parents are no longer to manage and care for themselves. This plan takes an easy and gentle approach to this complex process all from the comfort of your couch at your own speed.
Learn what it means to have "The Talk" with your parents about their future care plans
Understand what will needed for decisions to be made on their behalf
Establish an organizational system so you will be ready when duty calls
Find out about Aging In Place, how to prepare for it and determine whether it can be done safely in their current home
Become aware of the importance of an Estate or Financial plan - "It is not just for millionaires"
Have access to the "real" Caregiver experience, connections and more!
"Mapping the Elderhood Journey"
Recovering In Place
This chain of events for us is what is known as "Recovering-In-Place." It is a period of time when a person returns home from an extended hospital stay due to illness or injury to continue their recovery process. This would include returning to their home or to yours temporarily or permanently. Insurance companies typically cover hospital or rehab stay for only a certain period of time. The expectation is for the person to finish recovering at home.
This is usually the time when we come to realize that our parents' home and even our own home is not suitable to accommodate any new physical limitations or health requirements of our parent. It will be important that as your parent prepares for their discharge from a hospital or rehab facility that you become involved in their therapy and discharge program.
When your parent is attending therapy sessions, you should go with them. This will help you to better understand what limitations they may have. In addition, this will be an opportunity for you to learn how best to "handle" and maneuver them safely. Any form of training or information will help you become better prepared to be their future Caregiver.
We were not prepared for what was waiting for us when we brought Dad home. The first night home for my sister was the worst night she had in her life. We should have had more help, however, without knowing what is was going to be like - we did not know what help to even ask for.
So how do you get prepared for this?
My parent is being discharged in a few days.
"Home Coming Boot Camp"
Hey Caregiver! Step up duty calls! The "Home Coming Boot Camp" will help you get ready as quickly and as efficiently as possible when your parent is returning home from rehab or extended time in the hospital. While your parent is being cared for, you need to be making preparations of your own for their return home. Let's do it together.
Learn how to use the hospital/rehab facility as training grounds
Create a system that keeps you organized
Understand and prepare for how this will affect your personal and work-life
Learn how to build and implement your Home Care Team
Receive list of items you'll need to have on hand
Become aware of the importance of being ready for that first night home.
Our Home Coming Plan has been designed to step you through the preparations that you will need to make for when Mom or Dad comes home. At minimum, you should use this plan for the first 10 days they are home. It will help you buy some time; which is something a Caregiver never has enough of nor is it ever on your side.
To Be or Not To Be- Here
Aging and Recovering in place is contingent upon one major factor - your parents home. Therefore, the question that must receive an answer to is - "Mom/Dad, Are you able to receive all of your long-term care needs living here?
If the answer to this question is yes, then it will be the Caregiver's responsibility in making this happen.
There are going to be even more questions? Is this even going to be possible? As difficult as this will be, there is going to be a time where you are going to have to take a honest look at the home your parent loves so much - just as we did.
There are many services available that support the long-term goal of remaining in the home for as long as possible in addition to services that will help in evaluating if this is even possible.
The are ideal conditions for the perfect place for Aging-In-Place, for example, a home with a first floor bath and without any stairs. Unfortunately, most homes don't meet this criteria. So now what?
This is why it is so important to have a plan which addresses how to create an aging in place environment, how will it be funded and what other options are available. These are two amazing resources who will be able to guide you through this process.
Proactive Planning Is the Key
Deciding to remain in the home Long-Term requires planning and having a clear path to information and resources to assist in achieving this goal.
It is a process that starts with questions: will it be possible for them to remain in the home safely and to receive all of their care needs there? Is it realistic and for how long will you be able to maintain it? Sometimes outside forces will intervene and help make help difficult decisions for you - for example the condition of their home.
There is a sense of doubt that travels along with you on this journey, therefore having information and resources to help you through the process is key. Being a Caregiver comes with constant doubt and uncertainty. However, as long as you are as prepared as possible and to have a plan that addresses these primary objectives of: keeping them safe, comfortable and delivering their care needs, you should feel proud and confident that you are and have done your job to the best of your abilities.
Lets work towards the goal of Aging-In-Place by using solutions like these.
Components For Aging-In-Place
Meet Cindy and Christina Hardin - Weiss
"The goal of remaining as independent as possible in their home is achievable by simply by having the right tools"
Cindy Hardin-Weiss, PT and Christina Hardin-Weiss, ST.
Adaptive Equipment Corner provides online education and instruction for caregivers and individuals to improve safety and function during activities of daily living.
Our video library includes:
~ The Home Safety Tool Kit: A PT/OT Guided Home Assessment for Caregivers
~ Take Care 2 Care™️ caregiver video series
~ Pre/Post Total Knee Replacement Surgery Care video series
~ Pre/Post Total Hip Replacement Surgery Care video series
~ Pick Your Fit exercise video sets
Adaptive Equipment Corner was founded in 2015 by Cindy Hardin-Weiss, PT and Christina Hardin-Weiss, ST. As therapists, we see seniors struggling every day to care for themselves.
As most therapists are aware, there are catalogs FULL of adaptive equipment available to assist their clients with just about any need. However, many seniors, including their caregivers are NOT aware and even more frightening, do not know how to use the equipment safely. Our goal is to be a trusted resource for individuals looking for information regarding adaptive equipment and how to use it safely to enhance senior’s ability to age in place.
Meet Rebeca Sternbach, Certified Aging In Place Specialist
"Ability to live independently, independent of your Ability"
Rebeca Sternbach, Certified Aging In Place Specialist
Ability Home Solutions specializes in allowing those who are living with a cognitive or physical disability or concern related to aging to stay in their homes for as long as they are safely able to do so. We work with clients and caregivers and perform home safety assessments, accessibility evaluations, and equipment recommendations to prevent falls and allow for greater accessibility and more livability.
Who Would Benefit from My Services?
An adult living with a physical or cognitive challenge
Specializing in Parkinson’s, Low Vision, Stroke, MS, ALS, Dementia, Orthopedic Conditions
A child or an adult with Special Needs
A person transitioning from the hospital to home
A person who wants to proactively prevent falls and make their homes more livable or visitable
A person who is starting to be concerned as they age or as a loved one ages
A company or corporation that would like to implement universal design concepts into their work place
Nationwide referrals available
Meet Mike Profit, Financial Planner
"Knowledge is the key to a successful financial future."
Mike Profit, MBA. Financial Professional, MassMutual Greater Philadelphia
Knowledge is the key to a successful financial future. Mike's background, experience and commitment to providing you with the resources you need to make financial decisions, can help make your financial future as successful as you need it to be.
"I pride myself in getting to know each client so that I can understand their individual needs and what matters most to them. This helps me recommend products and strategies designed to meet their current needs, and more importantly, their future needs."
Affiliations & Memberships
Business Networking International Member - Past President & Membership Committee Member
New Castle County Chamber of Commerce member
Delaware Small Business Chamber member
SCORE Delaware Chapter - Currently the Executive Vice-President
Delaware Senior Resource Network - Former Chairperson, current member
Meet Gary Kozick, Elder Care Solutions, LLC
"One may become overwhelmed or confused about care solutions....." Gary Kozick, Elder Care Solutions, LLC
Gary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides a concierge service or “one stop shop” in helping older adults and families. One may become overwhelmed or confused about care solutions, or has limited time or lacks expertise in dealing with chronic care needs and medical conditions causing stress. Gary is a point of contact specializing in assisting people in meeting their daily living needs.
Assessment of cognitive, emotional, physical, and environmental needs
Planning and coordinating care
Evaluating and screening home care agencies
Preparing for having in-home caregivers/live-in caregivers
Evaluating assisted living, personal care, and long-term care skilled nursing facilities
Working with and deconstructing a person’s resistance to change or accept help
Providing coaching and guidance with communications with persons with dementia
Coordinating and facilitating residential transitions
Supporting adjustment to change
Providing advocacy, and information and referral
Helping Caregivers Achieve Goals
Anastasia, Aging Parents Management
The goal will be identifying the objective of either creating an Aging or Recovering In-Place Living environment and then systematically add complimenting support services.
Its ok to be skeptical. How hard can this be, right? I can handle this! This is all just hype!
As hard as it was for my sister caring for our Mom and Dad, there are families out there who have it or have had it much worse. They are dealing with loved one's who are suffering from major cognitive and physical conditions.
There is no way of knowing which path you will be taking with your loved one, but all journeys start with its first step which is becoming aware of what lies ahead.
By connecting these resources together will help you achieve your goals of providing the best possible Caregiving Plan "In-Place."