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Early Planning is Key as Loved Ones Age


From the Columbus Telegram on 9/17/15
Plan ahead. That’s the advice given to those who have aging parents.

Whether it is preparing mom and dad’s house to better fit their physical needs as they age or seeking alternative housing like an assisted living facility, it is better to be prepared than wait until an immediate need arises.

“Having it sooner than later hopefully will avoid the crisis when you’re in the hospital and the doctor says you can’t go home and then you have two days to figure out how all this works,” said Gwen Sander, senior living counselor at The Heritage at Meridian Gardens.
Sander was one of several representatives from area assisted living facilities and other businesses geared toward the older population at the annual Senior Living Festival held Thursday at Platte County Agricultural Park.

Having a discussion about elderly parents or other loved ones might be difficult, but it needs to be done. Including the aging person in the conversation is also important because it gives them ownership and the opportunity to be an active participant in their future, Sander said.
Assisted living might be the right option for families if they notice their loved one still has some independence, but is also exhibiting warning signs that show they might be better living in a facility that can meet their needs. Some of those signs include needing assistance with daily tasks like bathing and dressing, health problems and lack of socialization.

Sander said assisted living is resident-driven care and synonymous with independence and choices. Many residents at The Heritage at Meridian Gardens, a complex that has 83 apartments and includes specialized memory care, are still active, drive and volunteer in the community. Others need a higher level of care…

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