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How Can You Help Your Aging Family Member Cope with Big Changes in Her Life?

Big changes can be a part of the aging process for your elderly family member. She might find that it’s her health changing or even her living space. No matter what the challenges are, you need a plan to help her cope.

Elder Care in Petaluma CA: Coping with Change

Elder Care in Petaluma CA: Coping with Change

Differentiate Between What She Can Change and What She Can’t.

The first step is always going to be figuring out what can be changed and what can’t. If your elderly family member is facing the prospect of no longer driving, for example, this is likely something that she can’t change. Her eyesight might be failing her or she might not be physically able to control the car and turn the way she needs to in order to see what’s going on around her. So letting go of control helps.

Talk through How She’s Feeling.

That doesn’t change how your aging adult is feeling, though. That has to be dealt with separately. Your elderly family member’s feelings are valid, so it’s important to let her know that from the outset. She’s probably frustrated, angry, and sad, just to name a few of the emotions she’s battling. Acknowledging those feelings can help her to work through them.

Look for Aspects Worthy of Gratitude.

Okay, so now your elderly family member can’t drive, but there are silver linings here. She won’t have to pay to keep her car going, for starters. This is especially helpful if her budget is pretty tight. She’ll be able to still go where she needs to go, either with you or with elder care providers. Try to find as many aspects of the problem as possible about which your elderly family member can express gratitude.

Establish Some Action Steps.

Next your aging adult needs some action steps that she can follow. When she’s feeling frustrated by her inability to drive, what can she do that helps her to cope? Does she have a list of people that she can call in order to get the transportation that she needs? Having a solid plan that she can follow can help your aging adult to manage what was formerly an unmanageable situations.

No matter what types of changes your elderly family member is facing, tackling them head on is one of the best ways to get to the other side.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Petaluma, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.