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American Stroke Foundation

Caregiver ResourcesStroke Survivors & Caregivers: Planning for the Future

Stroke Survivors & Caregivers: Planning for the Future

The future is unpredictable, so it is important to have a plan in case of an emergency. This webinar discusses how to make plans in case of a fall, when travelling, how to plan for long term care, and in making end-of-life decisions.

Preventing and Responding to Falls (3:14-11:23)

This section focuses on preventing falls by adapting the home and using assistive devices. We discuss ways to call for help in case of a fall by using tools such as Life Alert, Siri, or an Alexa or Echo device. If a fall does occur, never try to lift someone off the floor by yourself!

Community Resources (11:24-13:22)

Visiting websites such as eldercare.acl.gov or calling “211” to connect with United Way can help you locate community resources in your area, such as respite care services, meals on wheels, and more.

Aphasia Communication Card (13:24-14:49)

If you live with aphasia or emotional lability, it may be beneficial to carry a communication card with you in the case where you would be separated from a loved one.

Packing List for Trips and Emergencies (14:50-20:37)

When travelling, it is important to go to destinations with wheelchair accessibility. Furthermore, after a stroke, you may need to add to your car’s emergency kit to include tools for managing incontinence, health aids and important medical documents. This section also describes what to pack in the case of a visit to the Emergency Room.

Discussing Plans for Aging and End of Life (20:40-26:09)

This section describes how to start family conversations surrounding long term care and end-of-life decisions. These discussions should take place in a familiar environment, consider family members’ roles and ability to assist their loved one, and ultimately center the conversation around the person’s values and wishes.

Long-Term Care Options (26:10-34:23)

  • Respite- Serves as a break for caregivers. Assistance with basic ADLs and meals can be provided, but no skilled care is given. This can be in the home or at an adult day care.
  • Assisted Living- Assistance with basic ADLs, meals, and medication management are provided. Tiers of care are available for those who need more assistance. This is not paid for by Medicare
  • Skilled Nursing Facility- Skilled nursing and therapy services are provided here. Medicare will pay for services for the first 100 days.
  • Long term care insurance pros and cons- This insurance will assist with paying for long-term care. However, premiums are often expensive, and this insurance is not offered by many companies. Be sure to speak with a professional before making the decision to invest in this type of insurance.

Legal Documents (34:23-44:58)

  • Power of Attorney: someone who is designated to make financial and medical decisions
  • Living Will/ advance directives: plans for medical decisions if someone were to become mentally incapacitated.
  • Professional assistance: Elder law attorneys, professional associations, and healthcare providers can assist in making these plans.
  • Estate Planning: This includes creating a will or trust to divvy out your assets

Tips for Creating Legal Documents (44:59-47:26)

This section describes important tips to consider when making these legal documents, such as paying attention to state regulations, making copies, and updating the documents with significant life events. All adults over the age of 18 should have a power of attorney and living will.

Planning for Emergencies Involving the Primary Caregiver (47:27- 49:02)

In the event that a primary caregiver would be unable to care for their loved one, it is important to identify if another family member could take over care or if they would need to make arrangements for professional care services. Furthermore, family members should know where important documents are stored and should be able to easily access them in an emergency.

Grief (49:03-51:24)

Grieving is a natural process, and is different for each person. This section briefly describes methods for managing grief, including practicing self-compassion, self-care, and seeking out social support.

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