July - September 2010 Edition: Naples Health

Ask LifeBridge:

Caring for Aging Parents

Dear Sheri:

My father is 84 and lives in Florida and suffers from mild dementia. My sister and I both live in Ohio and we’re concerned that Dad’s affairs are not in order and that he is not getting the help he needs to remain safely at home. What can we do? Concerned Carol The best family caregiving situations arise when everyone is working together. There can be a role for everyone, even those who live far away. All it takes is some good ongoing communication and a plan. If you’re not sure how to get started, you might consider hiring a family transition coach to help. As an objective third party, your coach can help provide focus and will have experience with others who have gone through similar transitions so that you don’t have to start from scratch. In addition, a family transition coach will be knowledgeable about the many resources that are available to you and can facilitate necessary but difficult conversations and decisions. Coaching can be done in person or by telephone/conference call, so it’s okay that you and your sister don’t live in the same town with Dad. Dear Carol:

Dee Martell

north, and the husband credits Martell and the rest of the staff for getting her well enough to handle the procedure. “We also had a man who had chemo- therapy,” Martell recalls. “He called recently to tell us he was in remission. He said, ‘I had to tell you girls because you’re the ones who made me better.’ He talked to each and every one of us.” The prolonged communication flows both ways. Martell and her colleagues often call to check on patients after they’ve gone home, just to see how they’re doing. “We have a connection with these people,” she explains. “We can’t just let them go.” Treating the outpatients “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” says Deborah Sousa, a certified infusion therapy nurse, who is also certi- fied in oncology. “I always wanted to “Sometimes people need an ear, and they find it easy to talk to us. We’re treating the family, too.”

Sheri Samotin

Sheri Samotin is a family transition coach and President of LifeBridge Solutions, LLC. We provide coaching, daily money management, medical billing advocacy, senior move management, and estate administration support. www.LifeBridgeSolutions.com 239.325.1880

Call today for a complimentary consultation.

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JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010 | Naples Health

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