The Longview Eldercare Channel Eldercare Channel Overview
Hello, and welcome to the Eldercare Channel of Southwest Washington. My name is Nancy Verhei. I’m your host, and CEO of Elder Options for the past 25 years. I am really excited about the Elder Care Channel because we will not only be hosting traditional topics, such as when to make that decision between staying at home or moving to assisted living, but also very interesting subject matter that sometimes people don’t want to talk about. Topics like how to make funeral arrangements, what are the costs, what’s a P.O.L.S.T. form for end of life decisions, what’s the difference between congregate care and respite care, and many more. What are the warning signs, for instance, of abuse, neglect, financial manipulation? And who should you notify if you suspect something is going wrong in the home? There’s so many subjects that I’m very excited to develop for you, and members of our community that I will be interviewing, to bring to our community a variety, ultimately dozens of videos, on elder care topics.
You know, early childhood education teachers attend formal training to learn about childhood development. Yet, there really isn’t an education forum for families to learn about the needs of the senior family members and how to avoid conflict with family members, when trying to initiate help in the home. We will also provide caregiver training information for both family and professional caregivers. So we’re going to roll out some very interesting topics, and I hope you enjoy them.
As a geriatric care manager for the past 25 years, I see firsthand how important it is to plan. I worked almost 20 years at PeaceHealth Medical Center and earlier in my career at UCLA Medical Center and I’d see the accidents and poor judgement that land people in the emergency room. This fact is compounded with the senior population. In the case of a senior, that accident could lead to a life-and-death situation, where a simple fall turns into a broken hip. The result can be a cascade of events that cause institutionalization because the senior cannot maintain independence at home. These decisions, these accidents, life’s happenings could cost a lot of money. When you think that it costs about $60,000 a year for 24-hour care in a nursing home, you want to start thinking about what you can do to put things in order at home. You want to begin that family discussion on “What would we do if this happens.” “What are your wishes, Mom?” “What are your wishes, Dad?” Begin that process.
Sometimes when it’s an awkward topic, you can have your parent or other family members tune into the Eldercare Channel so you’re all on the same page when making these decisions. The Elder Care Channel is a grassroots effort to get this information out. The space and equipment is being donated by Elder Options of Vancouver and Longview. I am hoping to have members of our communities, our elder care specialists, interviewed (if they don’t get camera-shy), to have a very lively forum. I also want to hear from you, the viewers, by writing me an email. As you can see, there is a form here on the channel. Give me ideas of what topics are of most interest to you and your family. If you haven’t seen the topic already, we can develop these videos based on your feedback.
As you navigate your way through the channel, you will be seeing providers in each category. One thing I want you to know is I’m not listing everyone on the channel like the Yellow Pages. I have checked out all the providers. As a Geriatric Care Manager, I am responsible for making knowledgeable and thoughtful referrals. I would not refer anyone to someone I wouldn’t refer my own parent to or I wouldn’t refer my clients to. So I want you to have that reassurance.
I also want to hear feedback from our clients and people viewing. If you’re not satisfied using a senior service I’d like to hear about it. Because you know what? The quality of service changes sometimes from year to year if there’s a change of ownership, especially with the assisted living centers and adult family homes. Sometimes, there’s a change of staff. I just want to give you that assurance that it’s the highest quality people, businesses, and agencies that will be featured.
When you think about it, one out of four of us watching today is an adult taking care of a senior, overseeing the care of a senior, living next door to a senior, or who have aging parents. So this aging process is affecting basically all of our community. There’s really three generations of seniors Elder Options is serving. A 55-year-old, according to AARP, is a senior. Their needs are very different than a 75-year-old. A 55-year-old is probably involved with retirement planning. A 75-year-old is beginning to look at downsizing. A 95-year-old has acute needs of maintaining that quality of life and surviving from day to day, based on their health and/or whether they live in a group home or alone at home.
So this is also a support system for our viewers. If you like us on Facebook, we will be sending you the most current videos that we are producing. So what you are viewing today will be very different than what you see in two years, because we’ll be continually adding videos and topics of interest.
There’s an old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. I believe there should also be a proverb that says it takes a village to provide a safety network to a senior or an elder. At the same time, the elders are full of information, resources, life’s experiences that we should be listening to. We shouldn’t discount them because they’re a little bit slow or hard of hearing. This whole forum is to open up awareness for the generation gap sometimes that we see. This forum will begin the peaceful process of making decisions, versus throwing the family into chaos, despair, stress, and throwing up your arms and say, “I give up.”
I hope you tune in and like us on Facebook. I’d like to hear from you. Thanks for joining me today. Hope to hear from you soon.
Nancy Verhei Elder Options 872 15th Avenue Longview, WA 98632 (360) 636-1000