Here are some helpful links:
Check out Laura’s network of professionals serving the needs of seniors in the East Bay – Senior Solutions. Whether you need a wheelchair ramp, a convenient ride service, an organized garage, or a real estate agent, they can help.
For seniors who want support and resources for aging in place, the Village movement, which started in Boston, has landed in the East Bay. The Lamorinda Village is fully operational, with social and educational events, drivers, and volunteers ready to help you stay at home as long as you are able. Sign up on their website for their email newsletters to be notified of public events in Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. Laura is a Preferred Service Provider for the Lamorinda Village.
Another excellent resource for seniors who want to live at home as long as possible is Covia. This nonprofit Bay Area-based organization has several innovative and free programs:
- Well Connected – This moderated set of phone-in (or online) activities changes seasonally. Examples: support groups for caregivers; guided meditation sessions; to armchair tours of art museums; seminars on health, religion, culture, and technology.
- Home Match – Homeowners with extra rooms connect with home seekers who need an affordable living space. Lodgers can provide (nonmedical) services such as yard work, errand running, light housekeeping, or cooking for a lower rent. Covia handles the interviews and paperwork, and irons out conflicts if they arise. Do you know a senior who could use a companion and a little extra income?
- Rotary HOME Team – Need a smoke detector battery changed? Have a leaky toilet? Have a door that sticks? Call Covia and they will ask local Rotary members to come by to fix it for free. And they are such nice people, too.
- Social Call – Do you know a senior who would welcome a regular visit for conversation and companionship? Covia matches trained volunteers with adults over 60 for social connections that mean so much.
For older adults who want to plan for unexpected events, including hospitalizations, falls, memory loss, sharing your plans with others, and public benefits to help pay for your needs if you can’t, check out this excellent, free, and simple web tool from Northwestern University: Plan Your Lifespan.
This is an interesting commentary about the Aid in Dying legislation in California: Contra Costa Times.
Need help with Advance Directives? Every adult should have one! Three great websites to check out:
- Just starting a conversation with loved ones about what you want for the end of your life can be a challenge! This group has put together great starter kits to help: The Conversation Project.
- The American Bar Association has a Toolkit with different medical scenarios and questions you can answer to help you direct your health care agent (also called a proxy) if you later lose capacity to speak for yourself: ABA Toolkit.
- Here is some information and a template for personalizing a letter to your doctor about your end-of-life wishes (a good supplement to a basic Advance Health Care Directive): Stanford Letter Project.
Book: Northern California journalist and author Katy Butler writes an informative and practical memoir about the challenges her family faced at the end of her father’s life. The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life
Forbes Article: What Could Happen If You Write Your Own Living Trust?
Alzheimer’s Association Community Resource Finder
Finding a Geriatric Care Manager: www.caremanager.org
End-of-Life Decisions for Alzheimer’s Patients: Alzheimers Brochure
Guide for Caregivers of Dementia Patients: Caregiver Brochure
California-specific rules about DNRs and POLSTs
Information about Hospice and Palliative Care