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Celebrating its 25th year on May 23, A Map Through the Maze, a practical-based Alzheimer’s and dementia care conference sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, offers professionals a unique opportunity to learn current and cutting edge information on a wide range of Alzheimer’s-related care topics.

I’ve attended this conference for years and always learn something new and useful. It’s a great networking and educational event with many exhibitors and lots of good information. With 30 breakout sessions offered, there is something for everyone. This year, keynote speaker Melanie Bunn, GNP, MS, RN, will present “Managing Pain and Dementia: Detection, Assessment and Treatment.” CEU’s are available.

In addition to the regular program, five tracks will be offered:

  • Dementia Management in the Acute Care Setting
  • Creating Purpose: Therapeutic Activities and Meaningful Engagement
  • Community Based Dementia Care
  • Advancement in Research: Prevention, Treatment and Care Approaches
  • Caring for Individuals with Dementia and Intellectual Disabilities

Along with Attorney Laura Traiger, I’ll be presenting a session on “Collaborative Care Planning in the Community” at 10:45 a.m.

What’s New at A Map Through the Maze?

NEW LOCATION: DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester, Mass.

  • Larger breakout rooms with table seating
  • Five unique tracks highlighting best practices in dementia care
  • 30 breakout sessions with 39 new speakers and 27 new care topics
  • Expanded exhibitor area, including morning session and interactive learning opportunities
  • Easy access from MBTA Commuter Rail

Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are also available. There’s a reduced registration fee for those interested in being conference assistants. For more information or to register, please click here.

Questions? Contact Lorraine Kermond at lkermond@alz.org. Hope to see you there!

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care® manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

Image Credit: beasty

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For many families, placing a loved one in a nursing home can be an excruciating decision, laced with guilt. But when medical needs and safety issues exceed your family’s ability to provide appropriate care, a nursing home may well be your loved one’s best living situation.

So what happens when you make that decision, move your aging parent into a good and appropriate nursing home setting, and she tells you she’s better off dead?

Hard as it is to hear your loved one say those words, and difficult as it is not to take them personally, it’s important to recognize that she’s expressing genuine grief. What may feel like a guilt trip that pricks all of your own misgivings about the move is more likely the beginning of your loved one’s natural and necessary process of grieving the loss of independence, privacy and comfort of living on her own.

Grieving is Not a Neat Process

Much has been written about the grieving process, drawing from the seminal work of psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who defined five stages of grief and loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. More recent research shows that the grieving process doesn’t necessarily follow such a neat path; rather, individuals come to terms with loss—of their health, a loved one, a home, a job—by following their own unique process. Some may skip steps, others may bounce back and forth, while still others may ride an emotional rollercoaster.

Regardless, people come to terms with grief and loss over time, and need permission—from themselves and others—to work through loss on their own terms (provided they do not engage in risky or injurious behavior for themselves or others). Inevitable denial and anger (I’m better off dead) ultimately leads to acceptance.

Here are some ways to help your loved one along that path—and to help yourself, too:

1. Listen without judging your loved one or yourself.

Listening by simply being present, without offering solutions or defending yourself, can be a very powerful way to help your aging parent process feelings. All too often we assume that we need to “fix” another’s sadness or grief. The act of accepting the legitimacy of those feelings, without passing judgment or accepting blame, can be healing for both of you as you come to understand each other more deeply.

2. Set boundaries.

That said, you don’t need to shoulder the full weight of your loved one’s grieving all by yourself. Neither should you tolerate abusive, blaming diatribes. If the conversation is too caustic, you may need to limit your time together. Be honest with yourself about your emotional needs and work with the nursing home social worker and other members of your loved one’s care team to ensure that he gets the support that you yourself cannot provide.

3. Give your loved one time to adjust to her new living situation.

The losses she is experiencing are real and profound. Grieving her change in status, health and ability; losing her privacy; adjusting to a smaller living space and unfamiliar surroundings—even when you’ve done your best to decorate her room with her favorite things from home—takes time to accept. It may take months, or even a year. We each have our own timetable for major life transitions, and your loved one’s needs should be respected.

4. Watch for signs of depression that may need medical attention.

While grieving is a normal process of coming to acceptance, if your loved one exhibits changes in behavior that indicate more serious mood shifts—a refusal to participate in social activities when he was always gregarious, or a pattern of self-isolation and refusing visitors when she always loved company, for example—it’s time to seek a professional evaluation from the care team. Medication may help, but is not always the answer. Explore non-pharmacological options, such as providing a personalized music playlist, to help your loved one feel more at home.

5. Ask for help.

A certified Aging Life Care Manager® can assist you and your loved one in evaluating best living options for your loved one; making the transition from home to an appropriate care setting; assessing when and what kind of additional support is needed; mediating between you, your loved one and other family members as necessary; and helping you to understand what your loved one is going through, as well as your own adjustment to this new phase in your relationship.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

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“I want to do it myself!” As a parent, at some point, you have to learn to let go. Kids must be allowed to try and fail, hard as it is to stand by and watch. Growing up is all about making mistakes and learning how to do better, next time.

But what do you do when the roles are reversed, and it’s your aging parent who insists on acting independently, when you think she really needs help and is refusing to acknowledge limitations? Who’s right? How do you know?

That conflict can become especially intense after your loved one has been hospitalized for surgery or another serious medical issue, and he’s been cleared by health professionals to go back home. How can they be so sure he’ll be fine recuperating on his own? After all, you’re the one on the ground who sees how he’s changed—perhaps becoming weaker, maybe more forgetful—post hospitalization!

Respecting Your Loved One’s Need for Independence

For older adults who have been living successfully on their own until a medical crisis, reclaiming their lives prior to whatever landed them in the hospital is a strong motivator. They may take longer to get going in the morning. They may sleep more and nap during the day as they recover. They may need time to make appropriate lifestyle adjustments that seem obvious to you.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t figure out the best, new combination for self-care and daily activities that enables them to remain independent. In this best-case scenario, your aging parent is just on a different timetable than you.

So how do you know when it’s appropriate to insist on helping or getting help for your parent after a significant medical episode? The answer depends on several factors, including observed risks to health and safety, as well as how much and what kind of risk you can tolerate out of respect for your parent’s right to self-determination.

Separating Real Risk from Presumed Risk

Let’s take the serious risks, first. If your parent is having trouble remembering to take medications on schedule, if she is too weak or unable to make meals, if he is unsteady walking or climbing stairs, if she no longer cares about personal hygiene, if he forgets to pay bills—significant changes in behavior with real health risks for a person who was always capable, organized and independent require professional assessment.

However, what to do when the changes are more subtle and worrisome, but not life-threatening, involves not only an impartial assessment of your loved one’s situation, but also an honest self-inventory of your own fears and concerns. For a parent who already feels diminished by the natural aging process, declining strength and agility, and an awareness that her mind is not as sharp as it used to be, your insistence on providing help may be well-meaning, but not truly necessary—and cost your loved one’s self-respect.

Understanding When Your Needs May Be the Issue, Not Your Loved One’s

Here are three key questions to ask yourself if you are walking the fine line between helping appropriately and helping too much:

  1. What can my loved one DO, as opposed to NOT DO? It’s all too easy to dwell on the negative. Reframe your assessment by focusing on capabilities, first.
  2. Does our disagreement over appropriate help echo old conflicts and power struggles in our relationship? This one is hard to determine on your own and may require an unbiased third party to sort out. But it’s important to differentiate between what is actually at risk and what is a trigger for arguments that may have nothing to do with the facts on the ground.
  3. How much risk can my loved one live with—and am I able to tolerate that choice? If your aging parent understands the situation and attendant risks, and is able to make reasonable judgments about safety and health, then there comes a point when you will need to let go. Whatever fear and guilt you may carry about the possibility of your loved one getting hurt or sick due to lack of help is your issue to work through, not your parent’s. This can be a tough path to travel, but it can also be freeing.

An Aging Life Care Manager® can provide an impartial, expert evaluation of your loved one’s status, help you to navigate the murky stretches of your journey together, and recommend next steps for appropriate assistance, home modifications and future care options. Remember, while these decisions may seem intractable, there is help and support available—for all of you.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

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As our loved ones age, their safety becomes a top-of-the-mind concern. Should they still be driving? Are they able to handle a snow storm or a power outage? What if they fall and no one is there to hear or help?

Over the past few years, we’ve written many blog posts about how to ensure that your aging loved one lives in a safe, secure environment. Now we’ve compiled the best of those posts into a free eBook, For Safety’s Sake: How to Reduce the Risk of Accident or Injury for your Aging Loved One.

Among the topics:

  • How to assess whether your loved one is safe living alone;
  • What to expect in a home safety inspection and why it’s necessary;
  • 7 tips to reduce fall risks;
  • How to keep your loved one safe and comfortable in severe weather or power outages;
  • When is it time to take away the car keys;
  • How to help your aging parent travel safely.

To download your free copy, visit our eBook page here.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

Image: Jametlene Reskp

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As we head into the new year, there hasn’t yet been much snow here in Southern New England. But, as anyone who lives here long enough knows, this is probably the calm before inevitable winter storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annual winter outlook for 2018-2019 predicts a milder winter throughout much of the U.S., with a colder and wetter season in southern states—and possible extreme cold in the Northeast, depending on the movement of arctic air masses, known as the Arctic Oscillation.

Whatever we’re in for, it’s essential to have a good plan in place for your aging loved one before a major winter storm hits. Snow, ice and coastal flooding can wreak havoc on your or another caregiver’s ability to reach your loved one during a severe storm. Extreme cold poses serious risks for a fragile adult’s health.

Here are some tips to help you keep your loved one safe, whatever winter has in store:

Before a Winter Weather Event
  • Be informed. Sign up for local weather alerts.
  • Create and review an emergency plan for your loved one. How will they get medical treatment or home health care if you cannot leave your home or providers cannot get to them?
  • Assemble an emergency kit, including extra winter clothing and blankets.
  • Be sure that they have non-perishable food on hand and needed medications.
  • Know locations of nearby public shelters.
  • Prepare for possible power outages. Equip your loved one’s home with flashlights, spare batteries, a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio. Ask neighbors to check on their well-being. See more tips for power outages here.
  • Check that their heating system is in proper working condition and that fuel levels can last through the storm.
During the Storm
  • You and your loved one should minimize outdoor activities. Drive only if absolutely necessary and with appropriate equipment (snow tires, AWD, clean windshield and working wipers).
  • Keep pets safe.
  • Check in with your loved one to be certain they are wearing warm clothing and using heat (not trying to save money by keeping on the oven!)
After the Storm Passes
  • Continue to monitor weather conditions and your loved one’s safety.
  • Call 911 to report emergencies.
  • Take your loved one to a warming center or shelter, if needed. But stay off streets until cleared of snow and ice!
  • Clear exhaust vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from furnaces and be sure any secondary heating systems are well-ventilated.
What to Do if Your Loved One Is Not Safe at Home Alone
  • Consider a respite stay, arranged in advance of the storm, at an assisted living or other community that has generators to maintain power.
  • Install a system that will notify you if temperature in their home drops below a certain point.
  • If your loved one already has private duty help, perhaps extend hours for the caregiver to live-in during the storm.
  • Notify police and fire (especially in smaller towns) to watch out for your loved one’s well being.
  • Arrange for snow removal with a reliable service. Make sure your loved one understands that it’s not a good idea to hire just anyone walking by, as they could get scammed.
  • Watch for warning signs of hypothermia, which can be life-threatening:
    • Cold feet and hands
    • Puffy or swollen face
    • Pale skin
    • Shivering (although not always)
    • Slow speech or slurring
    • Confusion
    • Shallow breathing

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

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Whatever your views on the news, outrage rules the Internet and airways. It’s hard to avoid, and it’s hard not to feel weighed down by the latest dark headlines about raging wildfires, flooded communities, mass shootings, trade wars, nuclear arms races, the opium epidemic, political name-calling and dysfunctional government.

It’s also hard not to let those worries intrude on your work with clients. When helping individuals who are already vulnerable, the last thing you want to do is let your own insecurities and fears about the world undermine your ability to help them feel safe.

So what do you say when a client who is a Holocaust survivor brings up the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting? Or a client who bootstrapped her way from immigrant poverty to a comfortable life criticizes the migrant caravan at the Texas border?

Especially if clients express viewpoints that challenge your personal values, how do you remain present and supportive without crossing boundaries that compromise your professional relationship?

Here are a few ways to take care of yourself that will help you better care for your clients in troubling times:

  • Set limits on your consumption of news and social media. Facebook and other platforms are engineered to be addictive, monetizing controversy to increase clicks and shares. Even reliable news sources benefit from headlines that tap strong emotions. While it’s important to stay informed when so much is at stake, try to limit how often you check your Twitter feed and online news services during the day. Avoid overdosing on pundit analysis before bedtime. Be selective in your news sources and learn to recognize click bait.
  • Cultivate a calm, measured manner when speaking with clients about current events. We are mirrors for those who depend on us. If you can remain composed when listening to your client’s concerns about the latest news, he will be more likely to calm down, too.
  • Don’t talk politics unless your client brings it up. Even if you have just learned some news that is causing you distress, your client may well have no idea what’s going on. Call a friend, family member or co-worker to decompress, as needed at an appropriate time, but don’t sound off to your client. That’s not what you’re there for.
  • If your client expresses political views that you find offensive, agree to disagree. This is tough, and it comes with some caveats. Should those views intentionally or unintentionally target your race, religion, gender orientation or other personal qualities, it’s fair to explain how that makes you feel—as a teachable moment, not an accusation. In general, however, it’s best to set personal political differences aside and to focus on the care-related issues at hand.
  • Strive for empathy and remember to take a “patience pill.” So much of what divides us today comes down to fear of losing what we hold most dear. Compassionate listening can be a powerful antidote. Patience, of course, is crucial to all that we do as Aging Life Care Professionals®. And when you’re done for the day, be sure to make time for that nice soak in the tub or a good comedy on your favorite streaming service to unwind and remember the good things in life.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

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No one dreams of living in a nursing home someday. The ideal is to live out our lives in the comfort of our own homes. Luck is certainly a factor in realizing the goal of “aging in place” —health risks increase with each decade, and chronic disease, dementia and fragility may make it too dangerous to remain at home forever.

But planning ahead to age in place as long as possible can increase the odds of a life well-lived at home. There are many factors to consider. A realistic financial plan is a must, even if all the variables for future medical needs cannot be anticipated. So is a safe living arrangement that can accommodate an older adult’s increasing physical limitations.

Here are some of the factors to take into consideration when evaluating your loved one’s ability to age in place—or your own:

  • How easy is it for your loved one to move around her home without risk of falls or other mishaps?
  • What transportation resources are available if and when he has to stop driving?
  • How much work is required to keep her home clean and functional? What support is available to help with household chores as tasks become more difficult?
  • How well can he manage his health and personal care needs, including doctor’s visits, medications, fitness routines and good nutrition?
  • Is she at risk of becoming socially isolated?
Get a Professional Assessment to Help You Plan

As you sort through these questions, it can help to get a professional assessment of your loved one’s strengths and limitations by a physical and/or occupational therapist. If you go this route and your loved one is on Medicare, remember to get a referral through his or her primary care physician so that the evaluation is covered.

Physical therapists can help to determine whether unresolved, chronic pain that limits your loved one’s mobility and strength can be eased with appropriate exercise and the right equipment. (No, it’s NOT a good idea for Mom to use Dad’s old cane when it’s the wrong size for her, just to save money.)

Occupational therapists, in turn, specialize in assessing safety of living spaces and can recommend accommodations that enable your loved one to remain independent when it comes to basic daily activities, such as bathing, eating and maintaining personal hygiene. They can also spot risky areas in the home, such as scatter rugs and rickety stairs, that should be fixed or modified in order to prevent falls.

Research Financing Options for Home Modifications

Many creative and functional adaptations can be made to homes; if such modifications are necessary, from installing a stair lift to reconfiguring a floor plan, be sure to hire contractors who specialize in this type of work. They will be up-to-date on the latest thinking and codes to ensure that your loved one’s home is safe. The Massachusetts Home Modification Loan Program provides interest-free loans up to $50,000 to support the costs of such adaptations, with repayment not required until the home is sold or the property’s title or deed is transferred. Nationwide, a variety of programs are also available, ranging from veteran’s benefits to free labor.

While circumstances will certainly change as your loved one grows older, an Aging Life Care Manager can work with you and your loved one to assess her or his needs, whether aging in place is a realistic option, and how best to make that dream a reality for as long as possible.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

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Deb co-wrote an article in a USA Today supplement about hospice and palliative care, published in September, Getting Holistic, Client-Centered Help When Caring for Aging Adults.  Here’s a link to the supplement, which also includes articles about end-of-life care decisions, how to talk about death with your loved one, honoring a life well-lived, and dispelling myths about hospices and palliative care.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

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For teens it’s a given: drive safely or lose the car keys. But if your parents’ driving skills are slipping due to age or infirmity, the conversation can get pretty dicey.

Driving is a mark of personal independence, a way to get around when you want, where you want. Losing the ability to drive can be a serious blow to self-esteem, not to mention a major obstacle to managing on your own. No wonder that any challenge to a parent’s driving abilities can spark serious family conflicts.

But the greater risk, when a parent shows sigs of no longer being in full control behind the wheel, is safety—not only for your parent, but also for any passengers and others on the road.

Taking away the keys is certainly a last resort. In an ideal world, your parent would recognize that he or she really needs to give up the car without any prompting. Between those two poles are a range of options, depending on your aging elder’s specific issues. Chances of a peaceful resolution that works for all will increase if you can broach the issues of safety and “retiring” from driving before there’s a crisis.

Watch for Warning Signs

Seventy-eight is now the average life expectancy for Americans. Even for healthy adults, the ’70s are a decade of increasing physical changes that can affect driving—weakened eyesight, difficulties with night vision, hearing loss, longer response times, declining physical coordination or range of motion, to name a few. Cognitive acuity may begin to slide, evidenced by shortened attention and memory loss.

Among the warning signs that your loved one may be approaching the point when driving has become a safety issue:

  • Unexplained dents or scrapes on the car
  • Getting lost on familiar routes
  • Riding the brake
  • Difficulty turning around when backing up
  • Trouble navigating turns
  • Inability to anticipate a dangerous situation on the road
  • Lateness to events when the individual has always been punctual
  • Switch to new medications that affect alertness and response times
  • Increased irritability or decreased confidence when driving
How to Broach Safe Driving Concerns

So, how to open up the subject without starting World War III? Your best bet is to speak and act with empathy:

  • Share your concerns without criticizing. Explain what you’ve witnessed that has raised concerns for your loved one’s safety and the safety of others. Avoid judging and lecturing. Speak as you would like to be spoken to when it’s your turn to face your driving limitations.
  • Encourage your loved one’s efforts to modify driving. Support any attempt to cut back driving at night or limit long-distance driving. Offer to help with transportation to evening events if your location and schedule allows, or arrange ride alternatives with reliable friends or transportation services. Provide assistance in planning long-distance trips to family events.
  • Accompany your loved one on public transit. Go with Mom or Dad on the bus or subway to get to appointments and help them learn the system. This will also enable you to assess how safe these alternatives actually are for your aging parent.
  • Research ride sharing alternatives. An abundance of options exist that can provide timely, responsive transportation. Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, specialized senior group transit, and personal ride services just for seniors are among the alternatives. Find out what’s available and affordable, and accompany your loved one to find the right fit and discover new ways to get around.
  • Help your loved one to analyze cost savings. Maintaining a car is expensive—even if the car is paid for, you have insurance, taxes, gasoline and repairs. It’s possible that taxis or ride sharing services are cheaper over the course of a year than keeping the car. Saving money on transportation can be a compelling reason for your loved one to quit driving.

But what if your parent refuses to consider giving up the keys, despite growing evidence of serious risks? Be compassionate but honest about safety:

  • In case of a minor accident, be candid about what could happen next time. Avoid guilt-tripping (“You could have killed someone!”) but be realistic. Your loved one may not even have been at fault, but his inability to drive defensively or respond in time could cause a serious accident in the future. Speak from the heart about your concerns for your aging parent’s safety and the safety of others.
  • Set boundaries about who can be a passenger. If your loved one’s driving has become too risky, you can calmly but honestly tell her that you no longer feel safe riding with her, or will no longer allow your children to ride with her. It’s a powerful and fair way to get the message across. Safety trumps hurt feelings.
  • Arrange a consult with your loved one’s physician. Shift the conversation to your loved one’s health. It’s best to speak to the physician in advance in order to determine whether he or she is willing to make an unbiased recommendation. You can also request that the physician order an independent driving evaluation.

Sooner than later, self-driving cars may eliminate the need for this difficult conversation. In the meantime, it’s best to discuss the possibilities of giving up the car long before there is a real and present danger. Once you’ve agreed on a plan, put it in writing so all will remember their commitments. An Aging Life Care Professional® can help you to navigate these complex conversations and work out a safe, viable driving solution for everyone involved.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.

Image Credit: Xan Griffin

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You’ll find them in coffee houses, museums or other community organizations. Memory cafés are safe, welcoming spaces for people living with forgetfulness or other cognitive challenges, as well as their families and friends. Some memory cafés invite guest artists, others focus on educational programs, and still others just provide a friendly social space for chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

This one-minute video provides a quick overview (if you cannot see the embedded video, click here to view on YouTube):

Memory Café PSA - YouTube

Click here to view the video in Spanish.

To find a memory café in your part of Massachusetts, click here for a directory from Jewish Family & Children’s Service.

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care Manager. Drawing on more than 35 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.

View Privacy Policy here.é

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