It ain’t easy.
As baby boomers turn 50, many are caring for their aging parents and find themselves trying to navigate a maze of complex issues and their parents’ ever-changing needs.
A recent newsletter, ElderCare Forum, provides answers.
“Our goal with the ElderCare Forum is to provide one place for caregivers to turn to get all the information they need on everything from health and medical issues to government programs, financial and legal matters, housing, and so forth,” says Laura Beller, editor.
The newsletter is designed to help caregivers deal with the issues they face now as well as prepare them for what is ahead, she says.
“Because elder care is usually crisis-driven, many caregivers never know what to expect next. By staying on top of the issues, trends and information on aging, caregivers’ jobs are made easier,” she says.
Each issue addresses readers’ questions in a Q-&-A section, gives tips for caregiving, lists relevant resources and provides an in-depth look at a variety of subjects.
Recent topics have included: selecting the best nursing home; making transitions to higher levels of care; distinguishing between normal memory loss and dementia; and finding caregiver respite.
For an annual subscription of four issues, send a $14 check payable to ElderCare Forum, 170 Elaine Drive, Roswell, GA 30075.
Other helpful suggestions include:
A new federal benefits handbook for veterans and their dependents, which describes benefits, programs and services available.
The 1997 “Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents” provides the latest information on how and where to obtain benefits.
Education and training benefits are covered extensively, including job training, vocational rehabilitation, employment assistance and the GI Bill. Other sections describe how to obtain VA home loans, disability benefits, life insurance and more.
Also included is a national resource listing of VA hospitals, VET Centers, and drug/alcohol treatment centers for veterans.
To order, send a check for $8.95, payable to, Federal Reprints, P.O. Box 11783, Washington, D.C. 20008. Specify the title you are requesting.
Help with health care: Consumers can become better informed about their health care choices in the free guidebook, “Choosing and Using a Health Plan.”
The information was developed through a partnership with the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and the Health Insurance Association of America to help consumers make sense of the increasingly complex choices in health care insurance.
Families can use the guide to better understand what kind of protection their current plan provides. The booklet stresses the importance of knowing the basics when choosing and using a health plan, such as services offered, location, costs, quality and choice of providers.
For those already in a plan, the handbook offers tips to help consumers learn how to obtain care, understand the plan’s hospitalization rules and know what to do if you are not satisfied with the care you have received.
Free copies of the guidebook are available by calling (800) 358-9295. Specify AHCPR Publication No. 97-0011. An online version of the guide can be accessed through the web site, http://www.ahcpr.gov/ Click on “consumer health.”
, DataTimes MEMO: The Family Track offers notes and information for families. Write to Lynn Gibson, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615, or fax (509) 459-5098.
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