Praoctive planning is always the best strategy when it comes to aging, however, there are times when the planning process slips by and a loved one finds themself in need of care and their children are forced to sacrifice their careers and time with their own families in order to provide the care. At BuddyIns, we want to help as many people as possible get the care they need. We’ve partnered with Annalee Kruger, founder of Care Right, Inc. to help people who might already be in a long term care crisis situation.
Watch our interview with Annalee and read her story below.
Planning for Long Term Care When You’re Already in a Crisis
There are approximately 44 million caregivers in the nation and most of them are adult children of aging parents. If there are no other resources for extended care, or resources are not adequate, it can place a tremendous burden on the family. The list of potential challenges is enormous and can include:
- Financial pressure
- Work and career impact
- Struggle managing competing priorities of children and aging parents
- Stress-related health issues
It’s difficult to find someone who understands the entire spectrum of aging: activities of daily living, finances, healthcare appointments, and ongoing demands of extended care.
Enter Annalee Kruger, of Care Right, Inc. Annalee works with families across the country to help them develop an aging plan. Since most family caregivers are adult daughters, they are often looking for guidance on what they should be doing at a point when they’re desperately trying to keep their head above water. It’s not a sustainable process and by the time they reach out for help, they understand that all too well.
Some families end up in a full-blown crisis, and that’s where crisis planning comes in.
“The crisis planning process is generally more complicated because the family’s relationships are strained, so communication is just not happening at a time when goals and plans need to be clearly spelled out,” said Annalee. “Adding to the communication challenge is the fact that families live apart – sometimes thousands of miles from each other – more than at any other time in our nation’s history.”
Crisis care is an expensive concept. Unfortunately, when families wait until their parents are in a medical crisis, most options are closed to them so they don’t have the best quality care options available, and that can be a scary prospect.
Typically, the daughter calls because she’s spending a significant amount of money and time away from work and away from her own family.
Annalee uses technology to engage with families all across the country to put together an assessment of what’s working and what isn’t, including:
- The wishes of the family member to stay at home and age in place
- Physical, cognitive, and mobility limitations
- Financial picture
Annalee is often a sounding board, but she also offers practical advice and guides the conversation about what it will really look like for a parent to age in place versus what their financial picture. The goal is to create a workable plan that is sustainable.
“Often the solution to crisis care is a multi-prong approach,” said Annalee. “We figure out what it is that the family member needs immediately to keep them safe and healthy. Then we consider what the family can do to manage the future.”
Annalee also helps the family coordinate care, put the aging plan in place, and make sure that it’s working well for them.
Once the crisis plan is done and everything is working, the conversation inevitably turns to the adult children – the second generation – as they consider their own long term care plans.
“The adult kids now realize how expensive care is, so I work with them to put an aging plan in place.”
If there is another positive outcome of this process, it’s the realization that planning ahead is always the better strategy when it comes to long term care.
About Annalee Kruger
Annalee has spent her entire 25+ year career in the senior care industry and has become a nationally recognized expert in the field of senior care planning having presented at a number of healthcare, senior housing, and financial conferences as well as hosting dozens of webinars. Today, Annalee is entering the role of long-distance caregiver to her own parents, and as a result, she understands, firsthand, the challenges for caregivers.