cherylThis issue’s theme seems to be elder safety and the growing concerns facing our seniors and caregivers today.

For example, we open with an article regarding one of the most frequently asked questions concerning elder safety – when is the right time for an elder to give up the car keys? This is one of the most difficult challenges facing caregivers today. Safety of the driver and others, insurance issues, how to talk about this with family members, understanding that sense of loss of independence, options for transportation if needed are common concerns. We are fortunate that in our area we have an amazing resource through the Adaptive Driving Program at UF Health as well as the AARP safety in driving classes.

We are also concerned with protecting our elders from fraud, financial exploitation and abuse of any sort. From a legal standpoint there are things that can be done. Sam Boone has a two-part series on this growing trend. And there will be a Save Our Seniors seminar on March 20 at The Atrium that will tackle some of these topics as well.

And of course, we are all concerned for safety in the home. The availability of Medicare covered equipment including hover lifts, wheelchairs and walkers have improved and made possible longer care at home. We must be aware of some important changes under Medicare now requiring a face to face office visit with the physician for documentation to support the need for most adaptive equipment.

I hope this information is helpful to you as you continue to provide loving care for your family member. Remember it is important to develop a team of support. And it’s important to be informed. And along the way, perhaps a social worker will be there to assist as well. So, here’s a shout out in March to my colleagues as we recognize professional social workers who believe that All People Matter!

 

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