May 28, 2019

Your Advocacy

By Goldercare Solutions

Planning in the Face of Alzheimer’s

What should we do in the face of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis? What does the future hold in store for us? How can we plan ahead for what’s coming?

Alzheimer’s can be terrifying – for us and for our loved ones. And then, after the initial shock, once we start to deal with our grief and fear, we start asking the “What-ifs.” What if I can’t care for myself? What if I can’t make decisions on my own? What if I can’t afford to pay for the care I need? What if my spouse can’t help?”

One of the first questions that should be answered is, “Who is going to help me? Who can I turn to when I need more assistance?” Unfortunately, too many people stall out on this question. That’s not only because it’s the most important question in dementia planning, it’s often the most difficult one as well. In today’s far-flung world, with family and friends scattered to the four winds, increasing numbers of people are classified as “unbefriended” adults – more euphemistically known as “orphaned seniors” or “solo performers.” They are hard-pressed to come up with a family member or friend to fill the role of “helper.”

Another question to address is “What do you have to do ahead of time as it relates to your advocate?” How much planning – and what kind of planning – do you need to do in order to avoid “driving off the cliff?”

What does ‘driving off the cliff’ mean? This is a phrase we use during crisis interventions to denote those situations where the person in crisis has done either no planning ahead or an insufficient amount. We say someone has a “drive-off-the-cliff” plan when their only “plan” is to just deal with – and try to solve – problems as they arise. The tragedy of “drive-off-the-cliff” planning is that it doesn’t preserve all your options. Too often, the best solution won’t be available to you if you haven’t planned ahead. So how much planning will you need to get by? Are you aware of all the potential
problems and other issues you could face with your Alzheimer’s journey?

Another important consideration is control. Is there any way to keep control of your affairs as dementia progresses? How much control can you keep, and how much do you have to give up? If you have done appropriate planning, you and your caregivers will know what your wishes are and how to assist you in decisions as things change. What steps can you take to stay healthy longer and prolong the need for help?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or you believe dementia or memory issues are affecting your life, please join us for our June Senior Empowerment Series – Planning After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis. We will discuss what you need to know if you are facing aging issues that require proactive planning. We will discuss steps you can take now that can make a major difference in the outcome of the crisis you are facing. There are two options to attend. These events are free and open to the public.

• Wednesday, June 5 at 10 AM – GolderCare Education Room, 1900 State Street, Bettendorf

• Wednesday, June 19 at 10 AM – Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline

GolderCare Solutions is an advocacy group in the Quad Cities. GolderCare is locally owned and operated since 2008. They assist seniors, the disabled and those that care for them. To learn more visit www.goldercare.com or call (309)
764-2273
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Filed Under: Health & Wellness