Today we have the honor of introducing a new series of articles based on the work of Dr. Michael Parker, a tenured University of Alabama Professor, UA Birmingham Associate Professor, and a US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.). Dr.Parker developed The AgeReady Program to assist career military personnel to prepare care plans ahead of deployments for their aging parents. Career military members are of the age where their parents are aging and present an additional concern for a deploying military member. Military members always prepare a plan for their spouses and children prior to deployment but are not required to have plans concerning their aging parents.
The Age Ready Task Assessment will soon be available for all families to address concerns related to the common issues that develop as we age. Are we prepared for what is ahead or are we just going to “wing it”? The AgeReady Program addresses 50 tasks that can be completed jointly between Older Adults and their adult children, or by either. The best-case scenario, whenever possible, is that the parents and children do this together.
Medical, Financial/Legal, Family & Spiritual
The tasks, or perhaps we should call them opportunities, are divided into 4 main categories:
- Financial, Legal, & Insurance
These four areas address vital aspects of aging and doing it well. By preparing in advance we can help to avoid acting in a crisis, which is never the ideal position to act from.
The prospect may seem daunting when you hear something like “50 Tasks.” We will break them down and address them over time. Winter Grace Senior Ministries, Inc. is preparing workshops to help you evaluate where you are right now, what you might want to tackle next, how to go about it, and inform you on where to seek help. We will work with you every step of the way.
Be Sure to Add the Fun Too!
We highly recommend adding some fun things to the list too. This time, hopefully, spent together with your loved ones, is an opportunity to get to know each other better, spend some special time, and deepen relationships. Why not add those activities and perhaps some adventures that you have thought about doing to the list?
Where will we begin?
The first task we will address is “Work with your parent to schedule a comprehensive geriatric assessment with a certified geriatric physician.” We will cover what an assessment entails, why you should have one, and how to find a geriatric practitioner.
Stayed tuned and check back often to see what the next task is and how to tackle it!