What’s In Your Plan?

Many times people call NY Connects when they have gotten to a crisis and are in dire need of help! It is frustrating to be in that situation and usually you can’t line up help as fast as you may need it! At NY Connects, we are available to you five days per week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30p.m., and by fax or internet. We encourage you to consider your own situation or the situation of family, friends and loved ones now. Even though everything may be running smoothly, planning is an important part of living well. The American Association of Retired Persons AARP notes “Lack of planning doesn’t mean there is a lack of commitment. On the contrary, often families avoid discussions about the future simply because they don’t want to think about changes in the lives of the people they love the most. Like writing a will or buying a life insurance policy, contemplating the “what if’s,” especially a serious illness or a loss of independence, can be downright depressing.” However, just like chores you do to keep your home and life running smoothly, planning for aging needs to be taken care of as well. If you don’t have a plan for aging you can find yourself or love ones scrambling to figure out what is available, where to go to find help and services, who to ask and how to pay for it. Another thing to consider is how people will know what you want! Leaving these things on the back burner or ignoring them all together can make for a difficult and stressful time in a time of illness or injury.

In the AARP publication, Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families, a systematic approach and useful tools can help you look at many aspects of creating a caregiving plan. This really gives yourself a place to start and then work with and share this with people who may be able to offer your assistance when needed. The booklet helps you to start the talk, figure out who you need on your team, look at your individual and unique needs, start to plan, and make a plan of action! What is most important to you? This is important to decide and then talk with family about how this can happen. Most people want to make their own decisions. Involving the person in this decision making helps family and friends know what to do and keep the person at the center of the planning. What is your goal?

___To remain as independent as possible for as long as possible

___To remain healthy and active

___To remain in my own home for as long as possible

___To focus on a hobby of mine

___To work for as long as possible

___To become involved in the community

___To remain as financially independent as possible

___To take classes

___To create a safety net in the event of an emergency or crisis situation

___To move closer to family

___To relocate to a smaller home

___To retire in a different place

___To travel

___To be able to help my children and grandchildren (AARP), aarp.org/caregiving/prepare-to-care-planning-guide

Once you have your ideas, start collecting information about your goals. If you want to stay in your home, what services and programs might I be eligible for? How do I get them? The planning parts of the planning means you need to make connections early and see what’s out there and how to get these services. NY Connects can help you with information, assistance and help to make these connections and referrals for you. People can get information and assistance with referrals to many community agencies and programs designed to help people remain at home and offer support in their communities. Some of these programs include home delivered, meals, exercise classes, emergency alarms; housekeeping or personal care support services in your home, health insurance information. NY Connects assesses your needs and then gives you options you can choose from to meet them. Long term care needs are not just nursing home information. We encourage people of all ages, caregivers, medical professionals, and parents-everyone that is looking for help, to call and see how this service can be helpful to you.

This service is confidential and free and focused on the consumer’s needs and resources available to them. NY Connects can assist you even further by making referrals directly to several programs even while you are on the phone line saving you time and additional phone calls. You can access Chautauqua County New York Connects in many ways to fit your needs. E-mail: ccnyc@co.chautauqua.ny.us, Mayville 753-4582, Dunkirk 363-4582 or Jamestown 661-7582. Fax # is 753-4477. You can even come to our main office location at 7 North Erie St, Mayville, New York. NY Connects is brought to you by a partnership with Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County department of Health and Human Services.