Preparing for Care

Last month, a forum was held at SOU entitled, “Prepare for Care: Getting to Plan A and Beyond.” Co-sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SOU, AARP, Senior and Disability Services at RVCOG and the Rogue Valley Manor, the care forum addressed the ways to ensure that you are prepared – physically, practically and financially – when either you or a loved one needs care. About 400 people attended the event.

The overwhelming interest in this forum illustrates how important the issue of caring for our local elders is in our community. It’s no surprise where nearly 20% of Jackson County residents are over 65.

One of the main presenters at the care forum was Ellen Waldman, an Aging Life Care Professional™ and owner of Senior Options, LLC. Ellen works closely with the elder population, advising them and their families about care options here in our community. For families dealing with age-related issues, especially those struggling with issues like dementia and other debilitating illnesses, Ellen can provide immensely helpful guidance and support.

Senior Options provides an initial hour-and-a-half private, individualized session delving into the family or individual’s unique circumstances and age-related issues. If you or a family member is struggling with such issues, Senior Options is a great place to turn. (Find out more at www.senioroptionsashland.com or (541) 482-9489.)

One of the key pieces that Ellen discussed at the forum was the importance of ensuring that the aging person has their legal ducks in a row. It is key that a person has the trifecta of planning documents in place: 1. a will or trust, 2. an advance directive and 3. a power of attorney. Together, this legal combo ensures that in the event of your incapacity, your financial needs and your healthcare needs will be handled as you wish, and in the event of your death, that your estate will also be handled the way you wish.

Please take Ellen’s advice and make sure that every aging person you know and love has these legal tools in place. It can reduce an immense amount of stress, cost and turmoil later on.

Sarah Vaile is an associate attorney with the Law Office of Robert Good, specializing in estate planning and administration and business law, and has practiced law in Jackson County for eight years. Contact her at (541) 482-3763