Where To Turn For Care In Time of Crises
By Eileen Doherty, MS ~
Denver, Colo. – Older adults often share “I don’t want to be a burden to my children,” “I don’t want to go to a nursing home,” “If I no longer have my mind, don’t put me in one of those places.” For those of us who work in aging, including here at the Colorado Gerontological Society, these are very familiar heartfelt feelings of older adults.
Many older adults are one fall, one medical emergency, or one “wrong decision” away from a crisis in which they find themselves losing their independence and needing more support and services. Hundreds of Coloradoans receive long-term care services every day in the home, assisted living, or nursing care residence.
Older adults want to age in place. To successfully age in place, requires a commitment to making the house accessible, using technology to its’ fullest potential, making changes and upgrades to the home, and identifying ways to pay for necessary services whether it be through public funding sources such as Older Americans Act, Medicare and/or Medicaid, or private pay.
The Society has an Aging in Place Play List of recorded educational programs with helpful tips and ideas on how to age in place on our YouTube Channel. Topics include home repairs, technology, reducing falls, and successfully using Medicaid/Medicare to stay in your home.
An additional concern of many family members is how to plan for services, what services are actually needed, how to be a smart consumer when purchasing services, and where to look for these services when you need them. In a world that is filled with competition and driven by market forces, choice is usually plentiful and making wise purchasing choices is a challenge.
The Society offers many tools and resources to help with decision-making. At www.senioranswers.org, complete “Help Me Find Services for Older Adults and Families” which will guide users to home care, assisted living, hospices, and other services. Similarly, the website has checklists that help guide when choosing a caregiver, home care agency, or housing services. In addition, you can view survey results by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, star ratings and abuse citations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (if applicable), and licensure.
Later in the summer, the 2022-23 Colorado Senior Resource Guidebook to available in libraries. If you are looking for a nursing home, assisted living, independent living community, hospice, home care, or adult day programs, you can compare resources on price, payment sources, and services offered. Copies can be mailed for $10 postage and handling to CGS, 1129 N Pennsylvania St, Denver CO 80203. You can talk with a counselor at 303-333-3482.
Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.