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Who Will Take Care of You When You’re Old? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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My husband and I don’t have kids. Finally, now that we are in our mid-forties, people have stopped asking when we will. But for a very long time, when we indicated that we didn’t have children, people—even strangers—would inquire, “But who will be there for you when you get older?” Frequently my response was, “We have long term care insurance,” with a smile. That usually shut down the conversation.

Of course, such discussions have always reminded me that our older adulthood will differ from peers who will have adult children, grandchildren and possibly even great-grandchildren. While having children does not guarantee anyone a caregiver someday, we know that we may have less social support than other older adults.

Because of this, when I first heard about Joy Loverde’s new book Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?, I immediately said to my husband, “We need this book.” I’m thrilled to report that this book is much more than what I was expecting. While Loverde recognizes our situation, she also reminds the reader that thinking ahead about who will support you in old age is not just an issue for the childless. Even those with many adult children should be proactive in developing a robust social network for their later years.

Loverde covers practical ideas such as how to become better at socializing (even if you consider yourself shy) so you can enjoy more social support. She also offers provocative ideas like having a funeral before you die. Repeatedly while reading Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old, I found myself thinking, “I never thought of that before!”

Though I was initially personally interested in Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old, professionally I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a more fulfilling aging experience.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Why You Need to Buy Into the Age Diversity Movement – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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My most requested keynote title for healthcare conferences is called Navigating Communication With Different Generations: Reducing Drama And Conflict In Healthcare.  Why?  I believe it’s because many of us still haven’t bought into the concept that generational affiliation is just another way we are diverse.  Does generational affiliation define anyone?  No!  But it does influence how we think and communicate.  This goes for patients, caregivers and colleagues in the healthcare workplace.

Another reason healthcare professionals are hungry for this discussion is because a large percentage are reporting that they themselves or others in their organization are experiencing ageism or reverse ageism.  Each time I provide this keynote, I poll the audience ahead of time.  I have not encountered an audience where this was not an issue.  If healthcare professionals feel ageism and reverse ageism from colleagues and managers, I can’t imagine that this doesn’t also impact our patients and their caregivers.

If you want to reduce drama and conflict in your healthcare workplace while providing better service to patients and clients, consider the acronym AGE.  Accept that generational diversity is part of what makes all of us unique.  Get real about your biases.  Many of us have bias against another generation.  Try to work through it and understand it.  If you stereotype a generation, educate yourself about the facts.  Finally, Expect commonalities among persons who are Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.  Just know that generation doesn’t totally define them.

If your organization could benefit from a deeper dive into this topic, check out this page:  http://jenerationshealth.com/keynotes/

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

 

 

What Kind of Team Member Do You Want To Be? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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If you are a working caregiver, you probably are experiencing a significant overload of stress.  How do you talk to your boss about it?  What resources are available to help you?

If you are an executive or a manager, you will have staff who are caregiving for sick or disabled loved ones at home.  Don’t you want to be the boss who they can approach and work out a reasonable plan so staff can remain productive at work while meeting their family obligations?

Check out Jennifer FitzPatrick on ABC’s Good Morning Washington.  She discusses how to manage career and caregiving; reducing caregiver stress; and how companies who support working caregivers can increase employee loyalty:

http://wjla.com/features/good-morning-washington/how-to-avoid-caregiver-burnout

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Stress-Free Caregiving: Is It Possible? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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I’m sorry to report that completely stress-free caregiving is highly unlikely!  But if you are stressed out, there are always many ways to feel better.  But you have to commit to doing things differently.  Are you ready to become less stressed?  Check out Jen’s interview with Joanna Palvino on WYSL 92.1fm and 1040 am replay of the Seniors Rock show podcast that was recorded in the Rochester, New York area recently:

http://archives.warpradio.com/wysl/files/SenRock/20170926.mp3

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Move Parents into Your Home: Are You Sure? By Guest Blogger Joy Loverde

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I have been a fan of Joy Loverde and her first book, The Complete Eldercare Planner, for many years.  I am thrilled that Joy is guest blogging for Jenerations this week, offering insights on how to decide if your older parents should move in with you. Joy’s new book, Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? will be published next month and can be pre-ordered by clicking here:

Move Parents into Your Home: Are You Sure?

When the holidays come rolling around, and you are face-to-face with your parents for a few days, you see it loud and clear. Parent-care problems require your immediate attention.

Take a deep breath. You know for certain that your parents can no longer live on their own. The time is now to contemplate their housing and care options. Here are your choices:

  1. Bring outside help into their home (you help, too)
  2. Move to an assisted-living community.
  3. Ask them to live with you.

Hold on! The third option requires asking many questions. Here they are.

Ask your parents:

Do you want to move in and share a household with my family?
Are there relationship conflicts that need to be resolved before you move in?
Are you comfortable switching doctors if you do relocate?
How long can you see yourself living with me?

Ask family household:

Would anyone resent this living arrangement?
What adjustments would you have to make to your lifestyle?
Will you pitch in and help?
Are you willing to treat this person as family member, not to be ignored or isolated?

Discuss with non-resident siblings:

Will you help care for our parents in the event they get sick and need extra care?
How will you pitch in when it’s time for me to take a break or vacation or if I get sick?

 Money:

Are my parents able to contribute financially (e.g. food, transportation)?
If the house needs remodeling to accommodate my parents, who pays?
If I quit my job, will my parents pay me to care for them?
Does this living arrangement affect my parent’s eligibility for Medicaid?

 Ask yourself:

Do I have the physical space in my home to take this on?
Will my family (partner and/or children) get the attention they need?
How will this decision affect my personal and professional goals?
Is there another family member who already requires my time and attention?
Am I good at delegating responsibilities?
Will my parents have access to a full range of activities outside the home?
Will we create ways for my parents to contribute to the family and feel needed?
Is there a plan to preserve privacy and autonomy for everyone?
Is my family financially and emotionally stable enough to take this on?

The arrangement of sharing one’s home with aging parents is not for the faint of heart. If you succeed, you are beating the odds!


About Joy Loverde
Joy Loverde is the author of the best-seller, The Complete Eldercare Planner (2009) and Who Will Take Care Of Me When I Am Old? (2017). Joy’s media credits include the Today Show, CBS Early Show, CNN, and National Public Radio among many others. Joy also serves as a mature-market consultant and spokesperson for manufacturers, corporations, law firms, financial institutions, insurance, associations, healthcare organizations, senior housing, and other members of the fast-growing eldercare industry. Joy’s website: www.elderindustry.com.