Last September, I was contacted by Claudette Azar-Kenyon to help her mother, Flora Azar, move from her large family home of 30 years to a two-bedroom condo. Flora lived at home with her husband, George, who was suffering from medical complications that prevented him from helping Flora with the move. (George passed away in March 2016, and we offer the family our most sincere condolences). Flora and George, married for 65 years, had been talking about downsizing for 10 years but life had intervened, as it so often does, with illnesses and various family challenges. Last year, Flora knew she had reached the critical point of needing to sell their house and downsize. Sadly, she was now facing the move without the emotional and physical support of her life partner.
Flora, at 86, is vibrant and sharp – but with less energy than in previous years. Trying to organize, pack and move – all while caring for her ailing husband -- was more than she could manage on her own. While her oldest daughter, Claudette, enthusiastically tried to help her parents organize for the move, she faced the time constraints of a demanding professional career. Claudette decided it was time to seek our professional help.
At Simplified Lives, we are often contacted by adult children who are working full-time jobs and taking care of their own children and pets while trying to maintain their own homes. It is difficult to squeeze into a busy life the enormous task of downsizing, packing and moving one’s parents!
Claudette said her best advice for other adult children facing this situation is to strive to strike a balance. Parents will have less room in a new living arrangement, but they may find it very difficult emotionally to let go of extra clothes, dish sets, pictures and decorations. Claudette offered two key words: “Have patience.” Even now, after the move, she is working to be patient with Flora when they talk about something that was not moved, as Flora still adjusts to smaller closet space.
Flora offered this advice to anyone her age thinking about downsizing and moving:
Please consider giving your mother the present of your time to get Mom started on organizing and downsizing. And for all of those amazing adult children out there who are already trying to help their mothers, or who would like to help but face “completely booked” schedules, give us a call at Simplified Lives. This work is our profession. We are experts in the art of moving. We are knowledgeable, helpful -- and, yes, patient!
ElderCareNetwork September 28, 2016 -- Sarah is a 75 year old woman in relatively good health until she fell and broke her hip last July. After a hospital stay and three weeks in rehab she came home with many new medications. Unfortunately, when she turned 65, she did not enroll in Medicare Part D (prescription drug program) as she was not taking any medications at that time. Now she is unable to enroll until open enrollment (three months away) and will pay a lifetime penalty (based on national premium) when she does enroll. Oops!
While hospitals and other providers line up for performance-related penalties, patients are also in the line of fire if they do not make the correct decisions at the right times. Examples include penalties for late enrollment in Medicare Part B without creditable coverage, and/or late enrollment penalties for Part D without creditable coverage.
With open enrollment scheduled to begin October 15, it is important for your patients and clients to review their current plans and know their options. Free help is available from local SHINE counselors.
Kathy Heery RN, MS, CCM, CCP
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The Elder Life Care Network (ELCN) is about aging well in the community. We work with elders and families helping them make informed decisions that lead toward workable solutions during difficult elder care situations.Each service (Smart Home Monitoring, GCM, Private Home Care) can stand alone, but when combined together provides solutions to the broader set of problems.
It is rarely just about the health care problem; the living environment, affordability and use of other services are just a few concerns. If you have problems, we have answers.
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A membership service bringing clarity to elders and their families through the aging process. A guide for life.The Elder Life Care Network™ (ELCN) is a comprehensive service for elders and their families who struggle with chronic illnesses, wrestle with fragmented care systems, lack consistent and credible information sources and desire to remain independent at home. The ELCN assembles team members, led by credentialed experts, supported by certified caregivers and enabled through technologies. Together the team supplies needed services, offers continuous information feeds, shares this information through various technologies and provides ongoing decision support throughout the aging process.