Advice for Senior Lifestyle Changes

Dear Doctor Marion,

I found your book, "Elder Care Made Easier", to be an easy to read and useful resource. I am trying to assist aging parents who live in the Las Vegas area. What I need is a counselor to advise me as I try to "do the right thing".

Can you recommend a professional or organization? What skill or title should I be seeking? I have an attorney available but need advice on facilitating and defining

the very overdue lifestyle changes.

George in Nevada, 48

When you are dealing with the elderly and legal issues, I’ve found it usually best to work with an Elder Care Attorney. There are national associations to help you find one in your area. Do your parents have all of their legal papers in order? If you need to make decisions for them, you want to make sure that you have the authority to do so.

The best way to handle long distance caregiving is to hire a Geriatric Care Manager near your parents. They are listed under National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (520-881-8008). You may not need one on an ongoing basis, so you may just need an initial or comprehensive assessment that will provide a professional overview of what to do and how to do it.

I suggest you hire a GCM who lives in the same zip code as your parents so in the event of an emergency, he or she can be readily available to come to their aid. If possible, interview several candidates for the position. You will want to ask how long they have been in the profession, what is their education and background, and of course, always ask for references.

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