Most of us have little experience with elder care until a parent becomes suddenly ill or in need of help. It may start with an unexpected event (a fall or hospitalization). Then, over time, your loved one needs more and more help.
The good news is that there are people who specialize in elder care, from the legal side to the medical and everything in between. They can serve as great local resources to help you get a sense of what to expect and the best way to address whatever issue you are facing. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel!
Below are local services offering support to caregiving families. These are people and organizations that we trust, and that share similar missions and values. For more assistance, give us a call at 717-393-7308.
Elder Law Attorneys
“Elder law” is a special branch of the law that has to do with issues of special concern for older adults. People consult an elder law attorney when they are setting up a living trust. Or when they are creating a will. Elder law attorneys can also help in situations where families are worried that an older relative may no longer be safe living alone at home. Or if they have concerns about a loved one’s ability to handle finances wisely. Elder law attorneys can also advise you about financial options, tax matters and Medicare coverage for long-term care.
There are attorneys out there who are all things to all people, but there aren’t many who specialize in elder law. We trust Shawn M. Pierson because he not only specializes in elder law, but his nine years of experience in elder care administration ensures that he can effectively navigate issues surrounding nursing homes, personal care facilities, and assisted living centers. Shawn and his team are ready to help you with elder law, wills, asset protection, estates, trusts, and even nursing home planning. They can be reached at 717-560-4966 or by visiting www.piersonelderlaw.com.
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Especially as retirement looms and income earning years draw to a close, it’s important to have a nest egg. Financial planners can help you manage your loved ones assets. They can also help you determine your own retirement needs and set savings goals while investing your money in a manner that matches your personal style. (Some people are said to have a high risk-tolerance. This means they tend to be more willing to take chances with their money on the possibility that they can earn more interest. Others have low risk-tolerance, meaning they would prefer security and a more predictable rate of growth.) Whatever your investment style, a financial planner can work within your comfort level to help you achieve your monetary goals. Here are two community friends we trust:
Margaret H. Folk, Financial Advisor
202 Willow Valley Square
Lancaster, PA 17602
(717) 464-4792 / (800) 673-2415
Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.
Margaret coordinates with other trusted professionals to ensure seamless management of assets with services that range from portfolio management, insurance, tax, estate, college and retirement planning. After she ascertains the client’s objective and liquidity needs, she will devise a plan to support the personal goals of the client. Margaret will continue to monitor its progress toward the client’s objectives and ensure the plan keeps working for the client through all of life’s changes by continually updating and providing ongoing support.
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Agape Care.
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These professionals understand the process of aging. Plus they know the many physical, emotional and financial pressures that families come under when caring for an older relative. It’s difficult to be objective when a loved one is having problems. Adult siblings frequently disagree about the severity of the issues. And they often have different ideas about the best way to handle the situation. A geriatric care manager provides perspective. He or she can do an assessment and give you and your family a sense of any threats to independence. The geriatric care manager can then recommend home modifications. Or, he or she can direct you to community services, or alternate living arrangements. The goal is to suggest workable options that will support your relative’s current and future needs. Because this type of help is non-medical, it is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
If you or your loved one is looking for the services of a care manager, we trust and recommend Evcliffe Senior Living Consulting. Evcliffe is experienced in assessing your loved one’s needs and matching them with senior communities and facilities in the Lancaster area. Taking things like costs, level of care, ratio of staff to residents, annual oversight agency inspection results, menus, floor plans, transportation, and activity schedules into account, they can ensure your loved one receives the care they need while saving you time and money. EvCliffe’s recommendations are objective, as they do not accept compensation from the Lancaster communities and facilities they recommend to clients. Visit EvCliffe.com to see how they can help make your loved one’s transition to senior living successful.
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Home Health Care (medical)
Home health care is a program that allows patients who cannot leave home easily to receive periodic visits from a nurse or other medical specialist. Often this is when someone is recovering from a surgery. But it can also involve management of an illness that needs periodic medical attention. The care might include a nurse overseeing the healing of a wound. Or it could be a physical therapist coming out to help with exercises after a hip replacement. This type of care is called “Home Health Care” because it is medical in nature. It differs from in-home care, which involves non-medical help. Because home health involves medical specialists, it may be paid for, in part or in whole, by Medicare.
For medical home care, we recommend Central Penn Nursing Care. Central Penn Nursing Care, Inc. has LPN’s and RN’s on staff that provide expert care in meeting the individual needs of their clients. These services include medication administration, wound care, colostomy care, catheter care and assessments and teaching. All of their Home Care services are reimbursed through private pay or a long term care insurance policy. Please call 717-569-0451 for a free assessment.
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Hospice and Palliative Care
If the person you care for has a serious, life-threatening illness, he or she might start to think more about the quality of his or her days, rather than the quantity. This is especially true if treatments are difficult and offer only a slim chance of recovery.
For those with incurable conditions, whose focus is to remain comfortable and pain free, hospice is a wonderful option. It is available at no cost to persons on Medicare. A nurse makes regular home visits. A home health aide comes several times a week to help with bathing. And the services of a chaplain and social worker are available for spiritual, emotional and social support. A volunteer can even come for a few hours a week to give the family caregiver some time off.
People often think that hospice is only for the last few days of a person’s life. Not true! It is available for weeks and months. Most families say they wish they had signed on to hospice sooner. Palliative care is similar to hospice, but is available even while a person continues to seek curative treatment. Ask you doctor if hospice or palliative care services are appropriate support for your family member.
In Lancaster, PA, we recommend Caring Hospice. Similar to Agape Care’s approach to home care, Caring Hospice of Lancaster provides individualized end- of-life care wherever their clients may be, whether it be a nursing home, assisted living facility, or your own home. Caring Hospice serves those in their final stages of life by managing and alleviating pain and symptoms, maintaining the patient’s dignity, fostering a love and appreciation for family and life experiences, helping patients accept their situation with hope and encouragement rather than despair, and addressing the logistical and emotional needs of the patient’s family. Caring Hospice’s services are comprehensive, their aides are well trained, and they are one of a select few hospices that has received accreditation from The Joint Commission. Call 717-295-1700 for more information.
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If you’ve been named the executor of a loved one’s estate, you have a lot of details to handle and you may not know where to begin. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend Estate Settlement Solutions, LLC. They can help lighten your load of responsibility and ease the cost. Attorney and executor fees can cost as much as 20% of small estates. Estate Settlement Solutions has the knowledge and resources to settle your estate without the cost or pressure of hiring an attorney. Contact Lyn Patterson at 717-824-4600 or Lyn@EstateSS.net for more information.
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