Preparing Community Seniors for Hurricane Florence in NC

With Hurricane Florence approaching the Carolina coast, it is important to check in with family and friends. This is particularly true of older adults and seniors who may have less opportunity or ability to make preparations. Imagine being in a situation in which you have limited transportation and access to basic necessities or are without close friends and family support systems. Take some time to check in on those people in your life who may be in this situation.

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Creating Your Aging Care Network

As a society we have long accepted the premise that it takes a village to raise a child. There is a need to adopt the same type of thinking when caring for ourselves and loved ones as we age. With aging typically comes an increase the frequency of interactions with the healthcare system. Over time our health care system has become extremely fragmented and understanding all the options, and decisions that will be required, as we age can be daunting for everyone. These challenges are compounded for LGBTQ folks. The homophobia and biases experienced throughout our lives, have created circumstances that are particularly challenging as we age.

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Making Critical Medical Decisions for Your Loved One

Scenario: Your loved one had been hospitalized urgently and is non-communicative. You are being asked to make critical medical decisions

What to expect in the emergency situation

    • In the event of a life threatening situation, ER staff are going to take necessary steps to stabilize a patient’s condition
    • The medical team will be looking for a primary family member or loved one to communicate with and help make decisions. In North Carolina, this is the Order of Priority for decision making in a hospital setting;
              1. Patient
              2. Individuals identified in legal documents (Healthcare Powers of Attorney)
              3. Family and Friends
              4. Doctors (Last Resort)

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Being Present

In the summer of 2016, Cindy and I moved my 93-year-old mother to Charlotte so that we could oversee her care in a memory care facility. We visit with her most days and over the course of months have come to know the other residents that reside with her quite well. It seems they are living out the last phase of their lives in a very tiny world. They live and die and are replaced with others but their personalities and stories stick with me. Read More

The Right Thing

Last summer, we moved my 93-year-old mother to North Carolina from her home on the Alabama gulf coast. She had been in an assisted living facility very near my brother and sisterin- law. In the previous 12 months, her life had changed drastically with the death of my father and the need to move from her house to an assisted living facility. She has been wheel chair bound for many years and could not safely live alone. She needed assistance with daily activities including meal preparation, bathing, and caring for her surroundings. Read More