Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things to do this month - July

This month focus on the elderly and those with disabilities.

___ 1) Assist the person in creating a basic stockpile of frequently used items (medications, Depends, a spare set of glasses, specialized liquid foods, etc.).

___ 2) Make the person’s home physically safer by installing grab bars in the bathroom, making sure all floors have non-skid surfaces, installing sturdy railing along stairways, etc.

___ 3) Take the person’s name off of their mailbox and leave a clearly legible address (calling someone by their name, which is easily found on a mailbox, is one ploy used by con artists to gain entry into an elderly
person’s home).

___ 4) Make sure the person has a non-published number, is on the national “do not call” list and that the digital greeting on their phone answering system is used instead of their own voice.

___ 5) Put up “No Trespassing”, “Beware of Dog” and “No Soliciting” signs.

___ 6) Check the person’s credit report for fraudulent or suspicious activity at least annually.

___ 7) Make sure the person’s Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney and, if needed, POLST documents are all up to date.

___ 8) Keep a frequently updated list of medication handy, consider using a mail order pharmacy if transportation is an issue and assist the person by separating their medications into a plastic medication box which is divided by day.

___ 9) Discuss ahead of time at what point the person will discontinue driving.

___ 10) Use/schedule community services as needed (ie: Home Health, Meals on Wheels, Hospice, etc.).

___ 11) Be well aware of the person’s financial affairs (ie: consider a joint checking account, reviewing their bank transactions, etc.).

___ 12) Regularly review the benefits they are entitled to (SSI, VA, pension, etc.).

___ 13) Visit the person and/or ensure that others visit regularly.

___ 14) Discuss ahead of time downsizing to a condo, mother-in-law apartment, assisted living facility, etc.

___ 15) Look for signs of depression, dementia or maltreatment by care givers and seek assistance if needed.

___ 16) Go to doctor’s appointments with the person and have them sign a waiver of privacy so that you can be kept informed of their medical condition by their doctor.

___ 17) Encourage them to give away or clearly label items they wish specific people to have after their death (this allows them to see others enjoying the items while they are still alive and eliminates the possible bitter disputes over their property after death).

___ 18) Assist them in planning their funeral ahead of time (it is much easier on those left behind if these decisions are made while everyone is in a relaxed state of mind instead of after a death when people are grieving).

___ 19) Encourage friends and family members to give food or gift cards in lieu of knick knacks and other things that will just gather dust for special occasions.

___ 20) Involve the person in preparedness planning; provide them information on how they would communicate with you and evacuate their home if this becomes necessary.

___ 21) Ensure the person has a quality diet, regular exercise and regular socialization.

___ 22) Consider installing a home monitoring service for falls, fires and intruders.

___ 23) Education keeps the brain active—teach the person about new technology, discuss current events and provide access to classes, crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities.

___ 24) Stay in regular communication with the person by phone, visits and email.

___ 25) Take extra precautions during times of snow/ice, extreme heat or other severe weather.

___ 26) Encourage the person to continue being active in the community by volunteering and sharing their talents/skills/wisdom with others.

___ 27) Make a point to learn from the person. Those who have lived through the Depression, wars and other socio-economic challenges often have much to teach others about how to survive.

___ 28) Inform the person about the many types of fraud that are often perpetrated against seniors (ie: sweepstakes, fraudulent charities, investment schemes, etc.).

___ 29) Consider installing a safe or even having items stored off the premises (safe deposit box) if the person has many valuable items in order to protect them from theft or robbery.

___ 30) Teach the person how not to be a target for physical or property crimes (rape, robbery, home invasion, etc) and assist them with hardening their homes against such crimes (install solid doors with deadbolts, window locks, security systems, etc).

___ 31) Make the person part of your preparedness plan. Include them in drills, educate them as you would anyone else in your family or on your team, and take advantage of their knowledge and abilities as well.

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