As part of celebrating the month of May as Aging Life Care Month, we would like help educate our visitors on what it is that Aging Life Care Professionals, also known as Geriatric Care Managers, do to help aging persons and their involved family members to plan for care and solve aging challenges.
Jasper and Molly met young, married, and planned a life of adventure. It was an unusual decision to not have children and one that their families often criticized, but they knew they wanted to travel the world and experience life. Jasper served in the military and Molly waited patiently for him to return. Upon his return they began planning their first travels together. That first trip was amazing. They met people from other cultures, they explored nature, and architecture. They took photographs everywhere they went, and they enjoyed searching for birds they had never seen before. Jasper called Molly his chickadee after the cute little bird. Chickadees are known for being curious and Molly was always interested in what was happening around them.
Everywhere they traveled, people admired the love they obviously had for each other. Through life they always supported each other and there was no doubt that they were best friends.
When Molly was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, it was devastating for both of them. Jasper held strong and took care of her. He took her to doctor’s appointments, the zoo, short road trips, and they stayed up late talking and talking about their life and memories. He made her a special photo book with her favorite bird photos, and they would look through it together, over and over again, remembering stories of their travels. They had deep conversations about who would take care of Jasper when she was gone. When Molly passed, it was so hard on Jasper. His friends were very worried about him.
One day, we received a call from Janice, who stated she had a friend named Jasper that she would like us to meet. She described how he was living alone and was facing some aging challenges of his own and they were worried that he would not understand care options or have representation if he needed it as he aged. We agreed it would be nice to meet him and she arranged a time for her and Jasper to meet with us. His story was fascinating, and we connected over the photos he shared.
It was clear that he would need a power of attorney for healthcare decisions so the first order on our plan of care was to connect him with an elder law attorney who would help him get his legal affairs handled and would work with him to set up a trusted person as a power of attorney should he be unable to make his own care decisions. He had a financial advisor, so we met together to discuss how to plan for the costs related to future care as he aged. As care managers, Jasper asked us to join him at an appointment with his physician to discuss any concerns that should be thought of in our planning. That information helped us create a roadmap for his aging process.
When he was hospitalized after a stroke, we met with his power of attorney and his physicians to help create a plan for his care when he would go home. Unfortunately, he would not be able to go home due to the injury he suffered from subsequent strokes. The plan that he had participated in creating was able to be carried out on his behalf and he was able to have our support through the care process. He was never without caring support!
Working with solo agers is an important portion of our work and we would be happy to help you if you are a solo ager or know someone who is. Nobody should be alone as they face the aging process.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 317-300-5454 or email us at Shannon@AgingLifeCareConsultants.com. We’ll be happy to assist!