I have one question for you that I hope will change your life forever and force you to become prepared. Are you ready to become a caregiver? This question is for everyone because the possibility is that at some point in your life you will more likely than not end up being in the position of taking care of a loved one. The reasons may vary; anything from an debilitating accident to a chronic health problem may occur and you will be left with having to make some very dramatic and crucial decisions in your life about someone you love. It may be long-term and it may be short-term; but, either way your life will be changed.
It’s a scary thought. You don’t necessarily know when or why you may become a caregiver and if you are lucky in the draw of cards it may never happen. However, it is all too possible that you will be put in that position at some time without ever having the time to think about it. That is why I bring this blog to you.
I work with seniors every day that may range from recovering from a surgery to having a life changing diagnosis of a debilitating disease, such as Alzheimer’s. When I work with these people I become their “caregiver” in a sense for a short time; however, their real caregivers are generally a family member who remains nearby. Some have time to prepare for their new position; such as those who get an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia due to another medical issue. Others have no real idea that they will eventually become a full time caregiver. Some can afford to hire professional caregiving full time; while others are held to what Medicare will pay for and have to come up with co-pays and annual deductibles. Many don’t even realize that Medicare Part B will cover BOTH physical therapy and caregiving services. Along with this fact there are some times when your provider (both physical therapist and caregiver) can present information on your behalf requesting for continued care. Each case is handled on an individual basis but there are options. This one fact is one of the best reasons to deal with professionals such as Go Physical Therapy & Wellness who know and are experienced with dealing with Medicare. This extensive knowledge is priceless to you as the person who is now caring for a loved one that can no longer fully care for themselves.
Planning is Important
You need to have this conversation with your loved ones. Parents with children, spouses with each other, and even adult grandchildren should be involved in knowing what to expect should one of you ever be in the situation where you can no longer care for yourself. One of the first things many physicians are now doing is offering a Living Will for their patients. This is an important part of knowing what to do for the inevitable and it also discusses who will hold Power of Attorney should you become unable to make your own decisions. This is extremely important should you ever be diagnosed with dementia also. However there are other things that need to be discussed and planned for in case you cannot think or act for yourself. You need to make sure that your loved ones know about the following:
- Living Will
- Healthcare Professionals You Utilize
- Last Will & Testament
- Banking & Financial Information
- Insurance Policies (any type)
- List of close friends & family (with phone numbers & addresses if possible)
While some of these things may seem as though your loved ones will know this information; in many cases their minds may not remember or simply grasp what the answers are if they are asked. That is why it is so very important to keep all information not only up to date but readily and safely put away so they have them. It’s better to be prepared than to be left with questions. If you can think of any other important information that should be shared. If you have been in the position of becoming the primary caregiver your insight could save others a lot of heartache and work. Feel free to comment.
Dedicated To Your Health & Well-being (and safety),