ADVANCED CARE PLANNING
In order to ensure the highest quality of life for the longest time possible, it is crucial that elders and their loved ones being a dialogue to discuss the topic of aging. This process needs to focus on the elder’s hopes and desires, short and long term goals, and their needs and abilities.
1. The first step in this process is to talk with the elder person and learn their wishes and desires for their care. It is important to recognize their right to make their own decisions and choices.
2. Gather important information about the elder such as Social Security No., Medicare No., Medicaid No., VA information, birth certificate, doctors name, address and telephone number, medications and dosages, medical history, financial information, burial and funeral information and legal document information.
3. The best way to determine the medical and personal needs of an elder is by obtaining a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment which will evaluate the person’s medical, mental, physical, social, environmental and financial status. This process determines the elder’s capabilities, and will be used as a baseline for the development of the care plan.
4. Once the assessment is completed and the elder’s needs are outlined, it will be necessary to research family and community resources to meet those needs. At this point it is helpful to arrange a family meeting in order to discuss the situation and develop a plan to move forward.
5. If is most important to ensure that the elder has their important legal documents in order.