ASK PETER: All You Would Like to Know About Senior Care, Dementia, and Alzheimer's Care

How do you start your conversation with your loved one?

By Peter DiMaria

Home Helpers Home Care organizes Senior Care Panel with specialists at the Enfield Senior Center

It is sometimes very difficult to talk to our loved ones about the challenges of getting old. People are used to their routine and self-sufficiency and they do not like to think about some important decisions and considerations which have to be made.

In relation to home care, for example, we hear things like: “I don’t need anybody”, “I have always done this by myself” or “I don’t want a stranger in my home”. So, that brings us back to the title question of this article.

At Home Helpers Home Care Enfield, we give a lot of thought to that question. We talked to specialists. We talked to people who did it. There is no cookie-cutter answer. Every family is different. However, what I can assure you is that with a little preparation, it can be a lot easier.

For example, if you start out by saying something like ‘Mom, I’ve been thinking …’ or ‘Dad, you should …’, then you’re going to put them on the defensive from the beginning. There are certain questions and ways of asking them, that will help you through this process and, hopefully, get you to a point where they understand their limitations and responsibilities, accepting the need for thinking in a series of subjects.

How to do it, then?

To help to guide you through this process, we organized a panel with specialists of different areas, next Thursday, October 27, 6:30 pm at the Enfield Senior Center. Registration and participation are free. There, you will be able to hear the expertise a lawyer specialized in Elder Law, a social worker, a financial adviser, a funeral director and home care practitioners, who will all talk about the different aspects of this conversation, in relation to their areas. What are decisions that need to be made? When should they be made? How to talk about it, showing what is at stake and bringing up their real interests which are involved?

The legal aspects of getting older will be covered in the event by Hank Weatherby, founding principal of the law firm of Weatherby & Associates, PC, from Hartford. Weatherby is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and he serves as the Treasurer of the Connecticut chapter of NAELA. Weatherby has written extensively on estate planning, business succession, and pension issues, and most recently co-authored the book Don’t Go Brook in a Nursing Home! He gives talks frequently to support groups, senior’ organizations, health care professionals, and other professional advisors.

The social worker Jacqueline Abramczyk is the Life Care Coordinator at the law firm of Weatherby & Associates, PC. Jackie earned her Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in older adults and families from Boston College. She has worked for years to advocate for older adults in both community-based and residential settings. In the event, she will talk about her experience at Weatherby & Associates, where she supports clients’ personal and health care needs which may arise in conjunction with their legal needs. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Walk planning committee and she sits on the board of directors for ITN Central Connecticut.

Sean M. Stevens is a fourth generation funeral director whose family legacy that has provided caring and compassionate funeral service to the communities of Enfield, Windsor Locks, Somers and surrounding communities since 1881. Sean was raised in Enfield, CT and was a graduate of Cathedral High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Michael's College, a Masters of Education from Montana State University, and an Associates’ Degree from Briarwood College. He will talk about the importance of preparing beforehand for an eventuality and his experience dealing with families at the Leete-Stevens Family Funeral Homes & Crematory, which he owns.

The financial aspects of getting old will be covered, in our event, by Jarett Solomon, a director at Connecticut Wealth Management. Solomon joined the company in 2011 and was promoted to Director in 2013. His role at Connecticut Wealth Management involves crafting individualized wealth plans for clients while offering proactive solutions and strategies to ensure that the plan’s efficiency is maximized. In addition, he oversees the firm’s Investment Committee, which collaboratively and objectively sets the firm’s asset allocation targets and selects the managers for the firm’s platform.

This is a great team of experts who will talk from their experience, answer questions and address comments from the audience, in a very relaxed and spontaneous atmosphere. The idea is to cover everything you always wanted to know and also what you didn’t think you needed to know, but you do. I will also be there to bring our experience in the Home Care industry and to moderate the panel. It will be a great opportunity to meet the readers of this column face to face and address your questions in an in-person, informal setting. Hope to see you there!

Call Home Helpers Home Care in Enfield-CT or East Longmeadow-MA and we will send you a free copy of our guide “8 ways to start the conversation”!

CT: (860) 698-2244

MA: (413) 224-1045