LOCAL SPOTLIGHT - KENTUCKY HEALTH SOLUTIONS

It is that most wonderful time of the year—no, we are not talking about Christmas. It’s Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Season. Yes, it’s the time of the year when we stress and spend hours on the phone or online shopping for health coverage. The pain of having to shop health coverage, spend hours on the phone or online with one company vs another for our health insurance can be a daunting task. It does not matter if you are on Medicare or looking for your personal insurance, this can be one of the most dreaded….

REDEFINED SENIOR LIVING

This senior living community, the latest on the Lexington landscape, offers numerous amenities and top-class touches that make it a vibrant, exciting community.  “We are redefining senior living,” said Jacqueline Kennedy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Legacy Reserve. “If someone has a notion of what senior living looks like, we ask them to tour Legacy Reserve.”  On your visit, you certainly won’t find Legacy Reserve residents just sitting around watching life go by.

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ADULT GUARDIANSHIP: FROM DEMENTIA TO ADDICTION

Guardianship has been a hot topic in Kentucky the past year.  Between the increase in dementia diagnoses and the growing drug epidemic, the court system has had a great influx in the number of guardianship filings over the past few years.  In Kentucky, a guardianship is a legal proceeding during which a jury determines whether an individual is wholly or partially disabled, the court appoints a guardian, thus officially creating a legal relationship between the guardian and the ward.

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In such cases, individual counseling may be a better approach.


Some caregiver groups are very general and open to everyone. Others are specific to certain populations, such as caregivers of older adults or caregivers for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Some groups are quite structured, with set agendas and built-in time constraints (typically four to six weekly or bi-weekly sessions). Led by health care professionals, including social workers and nurses, these groups are primarily educational in nature and often include guest speakers.


More informal groups focus primarily on emotional support. Member sharing of thoughts, feelings and experiences is key. Facilitators may be experienced caregivers or professionals who work with caregivers. Meetings are usually held monthly, with new members welcomed on an ongoing basis.


How can you tell if you’ve found the right group? After an initial visit, ask yourself:



Highly rated groups also emphasize caregiver strengths, incorporate some humor and include time for social interaction.



Where to Find Information About Caregiver Groups


If you’re a caregiver, you may have already read articles about the importance of preventing burnout. Usually these articles include a suggestion to join a support group. Perhaps you’re reluctant to do so because you wonder what caregiver groups are all about and whether joining one would really help you.


The overall goal of caregiver support groups is to enhance participants’ coping skills through mutual support and information sharing. Objectives may include:


CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS: IS THERE ONE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU?

The benefits of group involvement include:



A group setting isn’t suitable for everyone. A caregiver support group may not be as helpful for those who are very shy or private in nature; someone who is self-focused, either because of a personality trait or extreme stress; or those who have significant, often longstanding personal issues (for example, a psychiatric illness or a conflicted relationship with the care recipient).

LISA M. PETSCHE

Lisa M. Petsche is a social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior health matters. She has personal and professional experience with eldercare.

more articles by lisa m. petsche