Daily Dupaco

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Long-term care: What's the next step?

Julia Terwilleger got a first-hand lesson on the importance of long-term care planning when her mom suffered what seemed to be a simple fall.

While hospitalized with a fractured pelvis, Terwilleger's mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The doctor told family members that the woman couldn't return home - and that she needed to move into a nursing home that weekend.

"I had to make some very quick decisions on her care," said Terwilleger. "I found out how ill-prepared I was and how little I knew about this whole scenario."

Fortunately, Terwilleger found a nursing home for her mother. But the ordeal came with its share of bumps.

Terwilleger's experience has prompted a Dupaco-sponsored series of seminars - titled "What's the Next Step?" -  that will address everything from in-home care to long-term care insurance. The traveling seminar series, which kicks off Thursday, May 10, in Dubuque, will be presented in several of the communities Dupaco serves.

Reservations are required for the seminars, which are geared toward seniors. An overwhelming number of people have already registered.

"I can tell from the response that this is hitting a button for quite a few people," Terwilleger said.

Attendees will hear from both Dupaco staff and community experts. They'll receive tips on staying healthy, downsizing, financial planning, evaluating assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, among other related topics. Attendees also will learn about available community resources.

"Some might go to the seminar thinking, 'This is not for me; I'm just getting this information for somebody else,'" Terwilleger said. "But at some point, as fast as the years go, we need to be thinking about this for ourselves. If we have things taken care of, it will be much easier for our children, who at some time will be faced with making some decisions on our care."

Watch for our next post for some basic tips on planning for long-term care.

By Emily Kittle

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