Grand County workshop, group provide resources, solutions for aging loved ones
October 13, 2011
Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.
– Fred Astaire
Dollie Darrah is a longtime Grand County resident. Over the years she has enjoyed the closeness and camaraderie of this community. When her husband of 40 years was diagnosed with ALS nearly a decade ago, and she became his sole caregiver, the community again provided a cornerstone.
A church member invited her to a monthly support group for caregivers. Curious, she attended. For years now, it’s proven to be a source of strength for the Granby couple.
“There is almost always someone who has it worse or has walked in your shoes,” she said. “You don’t feel so isolated and you don’t feel ‘Oh, woe is me.’ You learn some good tips and some basic things you can do on a day-to-day basis to make caregiving easier.”
Jean Hammes, from the Alpine Area Agency on Aging, wants to make sure that those who are caregivers – or might become caregivers – have the necessary information to provide the best care. Often the financial and legal questions prove to be the most challenging. The Legal and Financial Resources and Planning for Caregivers workshop on Oct. 14 is set up to help caregivers get what they need for their situation and access those programs they may not have known existed.
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“We want to make sure people here have a sense of what types of resources are available in Grand County and how to access them,” said Hammes.
The workshop will also take people through some of the discussions that should be held with aging relatives before it’s too late.
The workshop will discuss wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages and the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.
Julie Piotraschke is the media volunteer for the Northern Colorado Region, Alzheimer’s Association