My dad, Rev. William “Tex” Rickard was a United Methodist pastor, an athlete, a jokester, father to six amazing children and an all-around great guy. He could watch a ball game with you or listen to your deepest fears. He helped me — a single mom — raise my two beautiful girls and our crazy dog, Chloe.
My dad took very good care of himself for his whole life, so we were unprepared when he had emergency back surgery at the age of 88 years.
This was tough for me, but even more so for him. After all, as a proud, strong minister, he took care of other people. He didn’t need people to care for him. After so many years of independence, we decided the best plan was to move him into an assisted living facility.
We approached the move directly by taking time to do a few things:
- Tour the local facilities.
- Make a list of costs and services.
- Talk to staff to find out how they interact with residents.
- Eat at the facility to see how the food was and to get a sense of community at meal times.
We learned a lot during a journey. We made some good choices along the way and also some mistakes. Our most important lesson was that communication is the key.
When preparing to move a loved one to an assisted living facility, you and your loved one have to be prepared to communicate with your family and the facility about your priorities. There is no one right answer. You have to decide what will work best for your loved one.
To help guide your decision about assisted living, I have written Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility, available in book and ebook format. It tells you what conversations to have, what to consider as you research facilities and how to make the experience as smooth as possible for you and your loved one.
As parents and loved ones age, we want them to — and they want to — live their lives as independently as possible for as long as possible.
But there may come a time when the need for care becomes greater than the desire to live independently. What do you do then? How do you make the right decision without being overwhelmed? How do you even begin talking about it?
In this video, I explain the importance of making sure your loved one is included in the process of choosing an assisted living and some key factors to consider.
How do you make the right decision about moving yourself or a loved one into an Assisted Living Facility without being overwhelmed? How do you even begin talking about it? MyHealthSpin’s “Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility” ebook guide gives you all of the practical advice you need to make the right choice.
Available for download NOW!
As your parents age, you may become more involved in their medical care. They may ask you to drive them to appointments or help make decisions about their care. As you do this, you may find you need to get access to their health records. Because HIPAA prevents the distribution of medical information to anyone other than the patient, your senior loved one will need to grant you permission (if they choose to do so). Spouses and grown children do not necessarily have access without authorization.
Here are a few tips to help get the information you need to be able to best assist your loved one:
1. Your parent or loved one is in charge.
They have the right to designate who they want to have access to their medical records. If that person is not you, be respectful of their decision.
2. Have your loved one fill out the right form.
When the patient goes into the hospital or doctor’s office, they should specifically ask to fill out a form that says who can get access to their health records.
3. Ask your loved one if they want you present during the medical visit.
A doctor is allowed to give information to a spouse or family member if he or she is present during a doctor’s visit or a hospital stay. If the senior has a family member come with them to the doctor, the doctor can assume that the senior wants the family member to have access to the senior’s medical information unless the senior states otherwise.
4. Have your loved one complete a living will.
A living will is a legal document that states who may make decisions about the patient’s healthcare in the event they are unable to make decisions themselves. It is really important for everyone to have a living will – even you!
With a little extra attention and planning, you will be able to help your parent or loved one with their medical care.
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