Prepare to Care For an Elder or Yourself

IMPACT – Why should you invest your time in this service project?

One in five Americans is providing assistance to an older family member or friend. We call this “Caregiving.” But, few plan ahead. Because of this caregiving can be stressful and negatively impact the well being of the caregiver. You can help yourself and your loved one by having important family conversations, getting documents in order, and understanding community resources and public safety net programs.

Ideas

Putting Kupuna at the center of the conversation, have a family conversation to discuss the future. What are his/her needs and wishes for care when they need it? What resources are available to help. What will family member roles be? AARP’s Prepare to Care publication can be a great guide for this conversation.

Modify your home with a grab bar or zero step entry so that frail elderly loved ones can visit you in your home.

Complete an Advance Directive. This is a written statement about your future medical care. It is a gift to family members and friends so they won’t have to guess what you want if you are no longer able to speak for yourself. 

Write a will so that you can decide what happens to your resources and help protect your family in the event of your death.

Watch a video about healthy aging or caregiving.

Resources & Examples

The Hawaii Aging and Disability Resource Center helps older adults, individuals with disabilities and caregivers find options for long term supports.

The AARP Caregiver Resource Center is a free service that helps family members navigate their role as a caregiver by providing information, support groups, free documents, and a caregiver support line.

Get information about how Medicare works, compare Medicare plans, access forms and resources.

The University of Hawaii Elder Law Program offers online publications, specific to Hawaii, which help people “Prepare for the Worst and Expect the Best,” as they clearly explain the legal and planning issues families should consider in relation to caregiving and long term care.

www.Kokuamau.org is Hawaii’s trusted resource for accurate information on advance care planning, hospice, and palliative care. Access free forms and webinars.

The John A Burns School Of Medicine’s Mini-Med School offers dozens of recorded lectures on topics related to healthy aging, caring for family, and caring for yourself.

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