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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    in 2011 After that painful experience she knew she would have a conversation about end of life planning with her mother a resident at Mercy Retirement Care Center in Oakland California We weren t going to go through that again she says Janet Thompson Director of Sales and Marketing at Mercy says she meets too many people who haven t discussed what they or their loved ones want when it comes to end of life care and that s why she joined The Conversation Project a national movement dedicated to helping people communicate and document their health care wishes in an advance directive She also speaks regularly about how to plan for end of life care Talking About an Advance Care Directive Having these conversations helps family members stay on the same page and not have to make hard choices in the middle of a health crisis like Shahi and her family had to do Getting legal documents in place such as an advance directive a durable power of attorney and a living will can help keep arguments at bay and often alleviates guilt for other family members says Thompson She acknowledges that these can be tough conversations to have and suggests bringing up the topic a little at a time Start the dialogue by asking questions such as When you think about the last phase of your life what s most important to you and How do you define quality of life Make sure to discuss any particular health concerns how involved loved ones should be what kinds of aggressive treatments are acceptable and when it would be preferable to shift from active treatment to palliative care End Of Life Wishes An Ongoing Conversation It can help to remember that nothing is set in stone These things are fluid

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3128 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    can be overwhelming With careful planning and help assisted living is attainable Brian Fricke CFP founder of Financial Management Concepts and Amy O Rourke founder and president of The Cameron Group share five pieces of advice that will help you get a handle on how to finance the move 1 Plan ahead to finance senior living Start before you need to Start planning sooner rather than later and don t wait until it s an emergency situation says Fricke You can t know that an accident or health crisis is coming so before your aging family member reaches the point where she s ready to move into a senior living community begin planning Look at options visit some possible communities talk about needs and wants and get finances set in place so that the transition is as seamless as possible While it can be emotional to think about the future or talk with your loved one about aging avoiding the issue leaves no time to create a realistic payment plan or identify financial assistance It s better to have a plan in place that everyone is aware of says Fricke 2 Be transparent about the financial reality Open the books share the finances and get the family involved in the situation says Fricke It can be uncomfortable for some people parents and adult children especially to talk openly about money but understanding the numbers can make all the difference Having everyone on the same page both with finances and with your family member s wishes will help you avoid conflict during an emotional time Listening really well to how the parents envision their future and approaching the discussion with interdependent goals will help make the planning process easier and ensure the best decisions are made says O Rourke 3 Understand the real costs of senior living Deciding how to finance senior living starts with the current budget Consider what your family member is currently spending on housing and related expenses and compare that to the price of the communities you are considering Remember that meals and transportation might be included in the overall price be sure to get a very clear rundown of what is and isn t covered by the monthly fee Oftentimes what people leave out is that the community is providing other services So when you sit down and look at the total expense it s probably not that much different than staying in a private home says Fricke 4 Afford assisted living Where to get help Consider all revenue sources including savings income and what public benefits are available says O Rourke For example many seniors may qualify for Veterans benefits or private means such as an Elderlife Line of Credit and do not even realize it There are other options available as well such as tax exempt family gifting long term care insurance selling a life insurance policy or tapping into home equity 5 Talk to a professional Advice from a financial advisor a geriatric

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3129 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    500 residents in four communities based solely on feedback from people in the field and the big picture But Carmel Dolcine Joseph takes a hands on individualized approach to her job I m at one of our communities at the very least once a week This hands on supportive approach differs from other people in a role like mine who have impact on policies but often lack a full understanding of how those policies impact resident quality of care and operations she says How a policy actually gets operationalized within the complexities of a community environment is critical Matching Seniors to the Right Memory Care Programs A California Certified Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly RCFE Administrator Certified E H R Implementation Manager and Licensed Vocational Nurse with more than 15 years of experience in senior living and long term care Dolcine Joseph has been the Director of Clinical Services at Elder Care Alliance for almost two years In that time she has led change across risk management regulatory compliance resident health data statistical analysis and electronic health record processes And most recently she has been focusing on fine tuning Elder Care Alliance s innovative memory care programming What we re accomplishing in my new memory care role is enhancing what we re currently doing matching the right residents to the right programs to address needs specific to their stage of dementia We re really focused on the opportunity to create resident led experiences she says That emphasis on putting the individual at the center of her own care reflects Elder Care Alliance s commitment to holistic wellness and to understanding the needs and preferences of a resident s entire being At Elder Care Alliance communities care goes beyond just pharmacological treatment and incorporates psychosocial and spiritual support to address every aspect of wellness Before a resident moves in just as it s important to have her medical history it s also important to have her social history We require that information so we know what is important to each person It s not just What are your current medications It is What are your likes What are your dislikes What are your triggers On a recent visit to the memory care neighborhood at AlmaVia of San Rafael Dolcine Joseph witnessed a transformation in one resident largely due to the new changes in resident caregiver program matching This particular resident with late stage dementia had been very disconnected in previous programs As I was watching this resident and caregiver after our new training implementations I saw the resident was more alert and able to better communicate It was just great to see There is nothing more holistic than a Corporate Director who facilitates change based on big picture trends and data as well as on individual involvement with community staff and residents I consider myself an extension of every community not just a name they see in emails I want the staff and residents to say Great Carmel is here

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3130 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    with dementia Zeisel says people with the disease are still able to live a full life especially during the first 10 years or more after diagnosis The first step to changing the narrative is discrediting three societal misconceptions about dementia 1 Dementia robs people of their ability to learn new things People with Alzheimer s can still acquire new skills says Zeisel they just do so in a different way Dementia damages the area of the brain that is used to recall facts and events This makes it difficult for people with dementia to memorize new information or learn things in a typical classroom setting But the learning system that encodes motor skills called the procedural system remains intact That system stays alive and stays vibrant says Zeisel So if you have dementia you still can learn as long as you re not asked to learn like we did in school This means that people with dementia can still learn how to perform new tasks and skills For example caregivers should try physical tactile activities such as cooking or painting Try performing a simple recipe multiple times The person with dementia should begin to learn how to perform the steps after enough procedural repetition even if they can t remember the list of ingredients 2 People with dementia can t maintain relationships with others It s true that maintaining a relationship requires a shift in thinking but it s definitely possible if you focus on building a new relationship on top of the old one One step to doing this is finding new ways to communicate Dementia can make it difficult to hold a conversation but there are ways to interact besides language Physical contact body language and facial expressions can all be used in place of words to express something to someone with dementia It s using all the ways we have to communicate that we use every day but spending less time using complex words and sentences says Zeisel Another step to maintaining relationships is respecting the transition and changes in that person and adapting to the new roles you both play The first thing you have to do is give up defining the person like they used to be and let them emerge as the person they are Zeisel says He advises caregivers not to question why the person with dementia no longer likes certain things or activities Zeisel compares this to a person growing up you wouldn t assume that a teenager would like the same things he did as an infant nor that an adult with a lot of experience has the same preferences as when he was younger Respecting and accepting the new preferences of the person with dementia will enable you to maintain a strong loving relationship 3 People with dementia can t be treated or can only be treated using prescription medication Though there is no known cure there are a variety of effective options for managing dementia Medication can help minimize

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3132 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    decisions can strain family relationships She offers these tips for avoiding and managing family conflict 1 Start end of life planning early Families often avoid conversations about end of life care until an emergency forces them to start planning We end up trying to make these decisions under a greater degree of emotional strain or emotional distress Duncan says This high level of stress can create an environment that fosters conflict among family members Duncan suggests families and caregivers discuss end of life care issues while the parent is still healthy enough to express her desires Take the time to create a solid plan like an advance care directive so the whole family will be on the same page Also keep in mind that plans can change over time Revisit the plan when there are changes in family structure a move or medical condition 2 Prioritize your parent s needs Family members often get caught up in how they will be directly impacted by their parent s condition or illness It is normal to have fears and concerns when a parent is ill or facing end of life This emotional strain can make thinking clearly about decisions very challenging The key is to focus on your loved one s wishes and focusing on overall goals of the care being delivered Duncan says this type of strain and the conflict it may cause can be avoided or at least minimized if all family members prioritize their parent s wants and needs above their own This can be accomplished by having a detailed discussion with the parent about what type of care plan matches her values Duncan says each sibling should consider what they can do to help their parents receive care that is consistent with their values and maintains a quality

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3133 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    Heart of Gold award for AlmaVia of San Francisco James is very dependable organized and willing to help in every way he can says Allison Zalko Life Enrichment Director at AlmaVia of San Francisco He is dedicated to AlmaVia and genuinely cares about our residents and the community Helping AlmaVia Residents Get Around San Francisco Li s main responsibilities involve coordinating the transportation of residents to medical appointments and getting residents to and from scheduled activities outside the community During his downtime Li helps with errands for residents or staff members in other departments He sometimes helps residents fix problems with their electronics and one day he received an unusual request One of our resident council members used to be a civil rights activist says Li And now even in retirement he still believes those things really matter The resident wanted to voice his opinion on the approval of an upcoming San Francisco Presidio area development project but he wasn t familiar with using email He found the email address of the politician s office and wanted to write a letter says Li So I assisted in that and then with the email conversation that went back and forth Through this ability to voice his opinion on an important subject the resident gained a sense of accomplishment by doing what he loved being an advocate for issues in the community Five Years With Elder Care Alliance Acts of kindness like this coupled with a strong work ethic commitment to the team and genuine connections with residents and employees helped Li earn the Heart of Gold award To mark the occasion AlmaVia of San Francisco hosted a celebratory bash with both employees and residents Li recently gained another point of pride within the Elder Care Alliance ranks by reaching his five

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3134 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    opportunities to significantly and positively impact the lives of seniors In many cases seniors thrive because of support from caregivers like Dimos Q Why have you spent so many years working with seniors A I love seniors I have a passion for their wisdom and what they have to offer us as well as what we have to enlighten their lives a little bit Working with seniors feels like home for me It s a place where some of my talents can be utilized as I make sure their lives have quality and that they have the dignity they so deserve and cherish That s the purpose Q What are some of the typical challenges caregivers face when working with seniors A The first challenge caregivers often face are the seniors themselves Their dignity self esteem and ability to take care of themselves and handle it are so engrained in their generation that they are often in denial of needing assistance of any kind They really don t need help they need support They need to know we will back them up not order them around Caregivers need to be able to just go with the flow and let them be independent while not bossing them around but giving them that support to be who they are in that moment At my company about 85 percent of our clients have moderate to late stage dementia Dementia tends to break down all filters so for caregivers having the patience to deal with that on a daily basis is challenging I d say the biggest challenge is being able to stay connected to what they really do from the heart without becoming burned out or frustrated Q What factors do you consider when recommending a senior living community or independent living community

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3136 (2016-01-08)
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  • Library | Elder Care Alliance
    of San Rafael Mercy Retirement Care Center Library Details Medical Provider Spotlight Dr John H Fullerton AlmaVia of San Rafael Assisted living communities offer convenient health care for seniors When seniors visit the doctor s office it is often up to their family members to help with everything from scheduling to driving to interpreting doctors instructions Medical services at an assisted living community can ease some of this burden for families and help ensure seniors get the care they need One such community is AlmaVia of San Rafael which includes an on site medical center run by Dr John H Fullerton For more than a decade Fullerton has worked with numerous skilled nursing and assisted living sites throughout San Francisco and Marin County that have been recognized as geriatric training sites He became the Medical Director of AlmaVia of San Rafael in 2014 and has been working to make medical care easier for both his patients and their families At the end of each appointment families get a personalized email from us They don t have to worry about trying to decipher medical jargon We might say Your mother showed up this afternoon these are her four issues and this is what we re doing about them Fullerton says As an Elder Care Alliance community AlmaVia of San Rafael maintains a culture of learning This encompasses employees residents and their loved ones In alignment with that culture of learning staff at the medical center offer health education to AlmaVia of San Rafael residents and health care providers hold training sessions for staff members on medical issues like diabetes management says Fullerton The medical center at AlmaVia of San Rafael is open to both residents and the community It offers a wide range of services including urgent care on a walk

    Original URL path: http://www.eldercarealliance.org/library-details?ResourceID=3137 (2016-01-08)
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