As we begin our slow recovery from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma in Naples, we have been reflecting on the delivery of care to the elder population. Hurricane Irma has brought into focus the vulnerability of seniors in our community.
If you have an elderly loved one in Collier County, you may have noticed deficits that were not apparent before the storm. Dealing with a problem of this magnitude put everyone under stress, but those suffering from cognitive decline may have suffered the worst. We have always discouraged our clients from hiring care-givers independent of agencies. We have been most concerned about these types of arrangements from the standpoint of workers compensation, employment tax issues and liability for theft. We can now add to that list the problem of care-giver abandonment. We know of several situations where the unlicensed, independent caregivers evacuated without regard for the elders for which they were caring. Without an agency involved, there was no provision for back-up caregivers.
We can also attest to the amount of physical labor it took to get our own home hurricane ready with the installation of shutters. Vulnerable elders would not have been able to physically do this work. Arrangements with home watch companies need to be made well in advance of a crisis such as a hurricane. Getting last minute help is generally not feasible.
Many elders desire to age in place and we are supportive of meeting the living arrangement goals of our clients. However, if aging in place is desired, appropriate planning in advance of a crisis is necessary. Having experienced Irma, we are prepared to help your family think through all available options for long term care, considering resources and available benefits so that your elder family members can weather whatever storm (literal or figurative) that comes their way.
Give us a call today at 239 434-8557 to set a family consultation. Until we get Comcast access, you can reach us at (941) 548-9871.