A truism in caregiving is "expect the unexpected." Being prepared and feeling a readiness for what lies ahead is an important caregiving tenet. As our older loved ones age and lose their physical and mental acuity we need to learn what resources and services are available to help make our caregiving role more manageable.

UK Elder Care can help. We are hosting a Senior Resource Fair on Friday, November 18, 2016 at the Hilary J. Boone Center from 11:00 a.m.to 1:30 p.m. The Senior Resource Fair will have more than 40 exhibitors who can provide information on in-home care, senior housing, health care, financial support, transportation services, and more to help you in your caregiving role. Whether you are noticing changes now in your loved one or just want to be prepared for the future please join us for this free event.

To get the most out of this event, come prepared with questions and concerns. Meet with the exhibitors who can provide information and assistance with the services needed.

Before the Senior Resource Fair:

  1. Talk with your loved one about their preferences and desires as they age. Don't assume that you know what type of care they may or may not want. Ask. Find out what they envision for their future. Where do they see themselves living next year, two years or even five years from now? What level of care do they want, and how do they hope to get there?


  2. Have a conversation about their finances. As difficult as this may be, it is extremely important for future care planning. What funding do they have, and where is it? Are you able to access it if they are not in a position to do so? Caregiving can be expensive. Do you know the average hourly rate for an in-home care companion? Do you know what an assisted, personal care or memory care facility charges on a monthly basis? These can be very realistic future costs for your loved one and it needs to be addressed.


  3. Look around; observe their situation. Has their normally well-kept home become neglected and unkempt? Has their personal hygiene become questionable? Would a few hours of assistance each week help your loved one stay independent and safe? Or is a more constant presence needed to assist with personal care and medication reminders?


  4. Review your loved one's necessary legal documents. Do they have an Advanced Health Care Directive/Living Will, a durable POA (Power of Attorney), a Medical Power of Attorney/Health Care Surrogate or a Will? When someone becomes unable to speak for themselves, these documents assure their wishes regarding finances, health care, long- term care and end of life care will be known.


  5. Does your loved one have the best health coverage available and at a competitive cost? Go over their health care coverage with them. Medicare Open Enrollment runs through December.


  6. Do you know what to do?


  7. Make yourself familiar with your loved ones medications, medical equipment, and treatment plans. Have you noticed that your older loved one is having more difficulty taking their medications on time? Have you noticed confusion when talking with them about their medicine regimen?

These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself. The Senior Resource Fair will have the experts on hand to answer your questions and lead you in the right direction. Hope to see you there!