Do You Have a Back Up Plan?

Back up plans…have you got them? Maybe it’s time to consider if having some contingency plans would give you greater peace of mind. Two critical elements in taking care of a family member are knowing your mutual goals and having back up plans when your goals can’t be met in the way you planned.

Back up plans help you cope with changing circumstances. The changes may be short term or end up being permanent.

Sometimes family members won’t want to discuss back up plans. It can be a dismal subject to think about and plan for. My advice is don’t let their reluctance to discuss alternatives stop you from planning, thinking and investigating resources.

How far should you go? I know your time is limited. The best approach is to plan for what is most likely happen to your family member based on the idea that conditions they currently have may get worse. For example if your family member has a heart condition, you would plan for heart failure or a stroke. Also consider planning for some of the common issues that affect aging individuals like falling, memory loss or no longer driving.

Some questions to ask: Are there areas of the house that would become inaccessible if my family member had a mobility issue? How could this problem be fixed?
How would my family member get around town if he/she could no longer drive?
How would daily household tasks like cooking, cleaning or clothes washing get completed?


A basic back up plan might include:

  1. 2 home care agencies that provide in home companionship, help with household duties and transportation for your family member
  2. 2 or 3 local nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid and have good reputations
  3. 2 or 3 assisted living communities or smaller eldercare homes that offer long term care and shorter respite stays
  4. An up to date copy of the senior services directory for your family member’s community
  5. A plan for who and how you will respond in a medical emergency
  6. An information packet with the names and contact information for your family member’s insurance company, doctors and prescriptions
  7. Copies of advanced health care directives


Set a limit around the amount of time you will spend researching alternatives. You will be surprised in how much you can get done in 2 half hour sessions per week.

Once your back up plan has been established, make time to review it at least once a year to make sure that all the information is up-to-date and to add any new resources that might be needed.



August Educational Events

If you are in or near the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope you'll join us at one of our events

Saturday, August 20, 2011
Avenidas 8th Annual Caregiver Conference
9:00am to 3:00pm
Registration includes lunch, keynote, choice of three workshops, access to sponsors, and a chance to win prizes.
Early Registration Special Ends August 12
Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center
266 & 270 Escuela Avenue, Palo Alto, CA
There is a fee to attend this event. Scholarships are available.
Follow this link to register

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Points of Life Presentation
Education for families with aging family members Panel presentation of eldercare experts including an estate planning attorney, financial planner, senior housing expert, eldercare coach (that's me) and many more.
7-8:30PM
Hors d'oeuvres 6:30PM
Atria Burlingame
250 Myrtle Road, Burlingame,CA
RSVP (650) 343-2747



Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Points of Life Presentation
Education for families with aging family members Panel presentation of eldercare experts including an estate planning attorney, financial planner, senior housing expert, eldercare coach (that's me) and many more.
12:00-1:30PM
Lunch will be served
Alma Via of San Francisco
1 Thomas More Way, San Francisco,CA 94132
Must RSVP as space is limited, call 415 337-1339



Is it Time to Discuss Your Eldercare Challenges with an Expert?

Have your caregiving responsibilities left you stressed, angry or feeling guilty?

Do you suspect that your family member needs help and don't know where to start?

Whether you are an experienced caregiver verging on burnout or a new caregiver who is not sure how to help a family member, you can benefit from Eldercare Coaching.

To experience what's it's like to have an expert in your corner providing advice and resources tailored to your unique situation, click here to schedule a no cost 30 minute consultation ($75 value).

We have some new programs to fit different learning styles and budgets. At the end of our free consultation, we can discuss whether live coaching, email coaching or a self study course will best meet your needs.

To learn more about these new options, check out our Programs page.



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