Creating a Plan of Care Before a Crisis Happens

Although it is something that none of us likes to ponder, the passage of time and the effects of aging place our parents and other older loved ones at risk of rapid changes in their health status and capabilities. A sudden illness, a fall or other unexpected event can turn their life – and yours – upside down in an instant.

Given the potential consequences, perhaps the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” offers the best advice for all of us.

The Importance of Preparing for Life Changes with Your Older Loved One

For families with older loved ones, the best advice is to prepare for life’s unexpected events ahead of time. By doing so, you can significantly reduce the amount of stress, confusion and disruption to your personal life and career if something unfortunate actually does happen.

By being prepared, you can deal with life’s unexpected ‘curve balls’ much more easily and effectively. There are several useful steps you can take to assure that if a life-changing event does occur, you are in the best possible position to deal with it.

In her article,Elder Care Needs Can Change in an Instant,” noted columnist and eldercare consultant, Carol Bradley Bursack, offers valuable insights into the importance of planning ahead. Ms. Bursack states that having a specific plan already in place can help you to cope with the variety of unforeseen events that can occur “out of the blue.” She recommends the following key steps to help you prepare for any potential challenges ahead:   

  • Create a Plan with Your Loved One for Their Future Care Needs – Plan ahead with your loved one about their preferences in case a life-changing emergency should occur. Let them know that you want to know their preferences for care under different health-related scenarios. Also, assure them that you will make the best decisions for their health, safety and well-being based on the circumstances at the time.
  • Establish Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions – Work with your loved one to make sure that you – or another trusted, responsible family member – have Power Of Attorney for their healthcare. Their wishes and preferences for their care are called “advanced directives.” Be sure that your loved one’s doctor and their preferred hospital have a copy of this document. With it, you can make the decisions necessary to continue caring for them if they are unable to speak for themselves.
  • Consider a Personal Emergency System – If your loved one lives on their own, even if there are two of them, it is wise to arrange for a personal alarm or some type of monitoring system so they can request help if they are not able to use the phone.
  • Organize a List of Essential Information – Help them to prepare a list of vital information in case of an emergency. The list should include emergency phone numbers, medications, allergies, and known illnesses. Keep this in a visible location such as on their refrigerator so that emergency personnel can locate it easily.
  • Keep Their Medicare and Other Insurance Information Handy – Keep copies of your loved one’s Medicare and other insurance cards in their wallets, but keep the originals with you. This way, should an emergency occur, you can take care of the paperwork while medical personnel are caring for them.

Following these five simple steps can provide you with peace of mind about the future while also assuring that your loved one will receive care that is consistent with their wishes should any significant changes occur with their health.

The Value of Personal Care Services

For many senior adults today who are faced with a life altering issue, Personal Care is often an ideal solution. For those who need some personal assistance to remain living independently, leading senior living providers such as Bryn Mawr Terrace offer personal care services, which include help with activities of daily living, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Medication Reminders
  • Housekeeping Services

Supporting Your Loved One’s Continuing Independence

The experienced and dedicated professionals and staff at Bryn Mawr Terrace develop a customized plan of assistance for each of our residents to help them maintain their independence for as long as possible. Residents also benefit from 24/7 staffing and access to on-site healthcare services if needed.

Personal care residents enjoy privacy and independence in fully furnished suites within a separate residential area. Residents have access to a variety of supportive services, as well as all community amenities and activities.

A Carefree, Engaging Lifestyle

Social engagement and enjoyable life enriching activities are important priorities at Bryn Mawr Terrace. Requiring some help with daily living should not mean giving up the joy of living. We support our residents’ zest for life and encourage them to spend their days as they choose, enjoying:

  • Delicious, daily meals served in the dining room
  • Extensive life enrichment programs for residents’ enjoyment 
  • Access to all community amenities, including a lounge and garden area
  • Therapeutic recreation and social activities
  • Private outside entrance

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us. Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate professional team treats our residents as family and respects their importance as individuals with their own unique life story.

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived!

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a continuing care retirement community, offering a range of services including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing careindependent living, personal carememory carerestorative care and respite care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing. For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at (610) 525-8300 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: This information should not be construed as Bryn Mawr Terrace or Main Line Senior Care Alliance offering legal advice. For legal advice, please consult your attorney.


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