Planning for Life

Home Care Benefits and Risks

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 2, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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In recent years, home care for disabled seniors has grown tremendously with absolutely no regulation. For the most part, this has been good with millions of seniors being able to stay in their own homes as they age. But a recent series of articles in The Boston Globe highlights the risks inherent to the system both to those receiving care and those providing it.

There has been a proliferation of individuals and companies, small and large, either providing in-home care or connecting families with caregivers. Two of the biggest are Home Instead Senior Care, which franchises home care agencies, and Care.com, which has expanded its child care referral services to include senior care as well.

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Topics: home care, Caregivers, elder care

New End-of-Life Resource in Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 10, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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A new website offers information and resources for individuals and families facing end-of-life challenges. It is designed as both a destination itself with answers to questions about end-of-life topics and as a directory of services in the community. The website, www.endwithcare.org, grew out of the work of the Massachusetts Commission on End of Life Care and the Massachusetts Experts Panel on End of Life Care, which in 2014 came out with the report, Looking Forward: 2014 and Beyond

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Topics: end-of-life, Caregivers, health-care decision making, caregiving

Caregivers Overwhelmed, Survey Reports

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 19, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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The results of an on-line survey released by The Arc and the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration reports caregivers are overwhelmed by the demands of caring for loved ones. The Family & Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) Community Report is a bit skewed statistically both due to its on-line nature and its sponsorship by a disability, rather than an elder care organization, but its results are still quite instructive, if not surprising.

Stress on Caregivers

Here are some of the Report's findings:

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Topics: disability, Caregivers, family caregiving

“I’d be Honored”: Paving the Way  For Your Special Needs Trustee - Preparing a Memorandum of Intent

Posted by Karen B. Mariscal on October 26, 2017

iStock-587221754.jpgWhen our autistic son was 8 years old, he was a holy terror.  That was true when he was younger than 8 and older than 8 (he settled down around the time of puberty, for which I am eternally grateful), but I am focusing on age 8 right now. We had two younger boys as well, then ages 5 and 4.  So when I asked my sister Laura whether she would be the guardian of our children, and take over if something happened to my husband and me, it was with great trepidation.  Laura knew full well what was going on in our house, and how difficult a request I was making.  She responded, without hesitation, “I’d be honored.”  I have tears in my eyes as I write this, as it never fails to get to me, even 17 years later.

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Topics: Caregivers, Intellectually Disabled, Special Needs Child, Special Needs Trust, trusts, disability, autism, special needs planning

Parenting a Child on the Autism Spectrum: A Curious Incident

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 24, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

incident of the dog.pngRecently I attended a play, "A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” in Boston, and I am reminded how truly powerful theater can be. Having read the book I didn't expect to be impacted so much, to the point that I couldn't breathe. The moment in the play that stood out most to me was the mother of Christopher, the 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s, explaining why she left home, eventually getting a divorce. 

Here's what she said about parenting her child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, (like my child), quoting from the book:

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Topics: Stress, Managing Stress, Telomere, Telomere Effect, Caregivers, Mothers of chronically ill children

Managing Stress Can Save a Caregivers Life

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 15, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

Karen's mom.jpgFamily caregivers are under a tremendous amount of stress. It is no surprise that when scientists went looking for a population that would likely record chronic stress throughout their lives, they used mothers of chronically ill children.

Compared to control mothers of healthy children, scientists Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel, whose research won the Nobel Prize, found that the mothers who spent years caring for ill children had shorter telomeres (caps to the chromosomes). When telomeres become too short, cells can no longer multiply, which is a very bad thing.

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Topics: Stress, Managing Stress, Telomere, Telomere Effect, Caregivers, Mothers of chronically ill children

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