This Caregiver Agency provides a free venue for people to get to know caregivers
Douglas Breuer started MyCareMatch.com with one objective: Make the process of finding the right care solution less complicated for seniors, people with disabilities and their loved ones.
Douglas’ motivation stems from his direct experience in senior care and case management over the last 10 years. He started his career in Adult Protective Services. Doug investigated cases where vulnerable adults were being exploited or abused. He then moved on to act as District Manager for the State of Oregon (“DHS”). While there, he directed the delivery of long term care services throughout the Central Oregon region. Douglas had the opportunity to work with seniors and adults with disabilities as well as their families. In his role he coordinated with staff, individual care providers, home care agencies, care communities and countless other service providers to develop care arrangements for seniors and adults with disabilities.
In our interview, Doug explains what MyCareMatch does that is different from home care agencies. He also talks about why you might want to use it.
Caregivers can build profiles detailing their experience, education, photos, references, resumes and even videos. If you’ve ever tried to find a caregiver, you’ll probably see how this is helpful.
The organization also can provide extensive background checks with the caregiver’s permission. They also provide reference checks and can even provide DMV checks all at very reasonable prices.
We discussed the Caregiver Registry for the state of California..
Caregivers now go through an intense State screening process. Doug recommends that even if a Caregiver has had a background check a few months ago it is always best to get a more recent one.
The website offers a search tool and educational resources you can explore. If you decide you want to contact a caregiver or care agency, you contact them directly. It is a one to one process.
We also discuss “Ray” who was one of his first clients when working for the state of Oregon. Ray was developmentally disabled. Ray, who was also a senior, didn’t let his disability stop him. He lived in the home his parents left him, and some people wanted to take that away from him. Doug would get lots of calls about people trying to take advantage of Ray. He talks about the relationship he built and how he helped intervene to keep him protected, and helped maintain his independence
Doug Nordman is the author of ‘The Military Guide To Financial Independence And Retirement’.
Doug’s writing has to do with Military Transitions.
If you think he’s doing it for the money, you’re wrong. All of his writing revenue is donated to military charities. He’s a retired submariner who’s been living in Hawaii for over fourteen years. So if you hear the birds in the background, it’s because he is in a tropical area! He and his wife, (who is a retired Navy Reservist), raised their daughter in the islands. They enjoy slow travel all over the world (some of it on military Space A flights) and DIY home-improvement projects. After retirement, he was “bit” by the surfing bug and learned to surf with his family. Their daughter is now on Navy active duty with her spouse.
Doug gives great advice about military transitions for services members and their families
A few years after retirement, Doug stumbled into writing and became an author. His book provides service members, veterans, and their families information on military transitions into retirement or a new bridge career. Some advice Doug offers in our interview:
Prepare 18 months in advance if possible
There are a lot of Clubs and Associations for people after they leave the military. The common goal is to assist with military transitions.
Both the active service members and their spouse should attend military retirement transition seminars. Doug mentions that there is a lot of written material online. He thinks that attending a live seminar is best.
There are numerous options for military retirees who want to start their own businesses
I asked Doug about spending so much time with his spouse now that they are both retired. He says he doesn’t get tired of spending too much time together. It is important to have a plan before retirement and talk with our spouse about it. Doug and his wife still have alone time even when they are both home. Learn to adapt to renegotiating roles as things change in your lives. Doug also says it is ok to keep separate interests and priorities.
What advice would you give to a retiree who feels stuck?
You’ve already worked out the finances, and now you’re “working” on your lifestyle. Make the time to practice it before you permanently retire. Take at least 2-3 weeks of vacation to fully unplug from your career. Give plenty of time for contemplation and thoughtful discussions with your family. Don’t take on huge projects during this time. Instead try to catch up on your sleep, enjoy some long walks, and build a list of activities that you’d like to try.
If you would like a copy of Doug’s Book, The Miliary Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement, go to Amazon or Impact Publications (Which sells a 64-page “Pocket Guide”) You can also find it in the GSA catalog if you are on a military base or check your local public library or military base library
Are you Making a Move soon? This is the episode to listen to! Jami Shapiro is the owner of Silver Linings Transitions. She is a single mother of three girls, an 11 year thyroid cancer survivor, a community volunteer and a Realtor.
Believing everything happens for a reason, Jami discovered the National Association of Senior Move Managers in 2014. They were holding the national conference in San Diego. She attended the conference, met other Senior Move Managers and knew she’d found the work she was meant to do.
Silver Linings Transitions is a bright spot for people facing difficult transitions AND making a move.
The company specializes in seniors who are downsizing or making a move into senior communities as well as couples going through divorce. As someone’s who’s faced cancer and divorce, Jami understands personally how important it is to find the “silver lining” when life doesn’t go the way we’d hoped. When working with clients through their transition, the Silver Linings Transitions team focuses on what’s positive during a difficult time and helps the client navigate through the move as gently as possible.
The most important work we do is helping people with the emotional aspect of making a move.
In this episode Jamie and I talk about:
The secret of getting 3000 square feet worth of stuff into a 1200 square foot apartment.
What can I do now if I don’t want to move, but I just have a lot of clutter that I want to get rid of?
How do you deal with those boxes and boxes of photos?
What is the difference between a mover and a move manager such as Silver Linings Transitions?
How to diffuse any needless fighting over belongings and keep the stress level down for everyone.
Be mindful of how much “stuff” you buy. Spend money on experiences rather than stuff.
Spend more time focusing on the present and what you are able to do. Don’t worry about the future or the past. Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t do. Do something you have never done and always wanted to try.
In episode 53 of Rock Your Retirement, our guest was Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW. You can listen to the show by clicking the little arrow button.
Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW has been a well-known patient advocate and licensed clinical social worker for the last 40 years. She has worked with patients and families who have experienced catastrophic illnesses like strokes, cancer, amputations, and head injuries. She also worked with people battling infertility. Ms. Waichler is an author and a Mom’s Choice Gold Award Winner. She was also the winner of the (NAPPA) Gold Award for best book of the year, and winner of the finalist award for Foreword Magazine 2007 non-fiction Book of the Year. Her newest book, “Role Reversal, Taking Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents” arrived on bookshelves August 2016.
So many people are taking care of aging parents and still have children of their own living at home. This is the “Sandwich Generation”
Iris was involved of taking care of both of her aging parents. She tells a story about noticing her father was wearing two watches while at a doctor’s visit. This small detail leads to an emergency surgery for a hemorrhage in his brain.
Things to look for when visiting an aging parent or loved one:
Does their personal care seem to be getting worse?
How are they eating?
Condition of their home – Is the house in disarray?
Are they showing any signs of memory loss?
Do you see any physical symptoms or balance issues?
Have there been changes in social behavior?
Do you see changes in emotional status?
Are there scratches and dents in their car?
How to bring up the difficult conversations that go along with taking care of aging parents.
Driving and are they safe to continue to drive?
Wishes upon death
Power of attorneys
Staying in their own home and whether or not is safe.
Iris also tells us about Geriatric Care managers. They can help with putting a game plan in place if it gets to be too overwhelming.
Assisted Living Facilities and what you should look for
In episode 49 of Rock Your Retirement we talked with Christine Murphy about Assisted Living Facilities and what you should look for.
Christine has held a RCFE Administrator’s Certificate since 2007. Her thesis work was documented in “An Exposition of Irregularities in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) in San Diego and Imperial Counties” (Montezuma Publishing, SDSU, 2010). This was based on original research conducted on the public files of 354 Communities located in San Diego and Imperial counties.
She is CARR’s Program Manager in the County of San Diego. CARR is developing a website with a rating system for assisted living facilities in San Diego county.
Chris placed her mom in an assisted living facility, but she saw things she didn’t like. She felt that her mom was in danger at the facility. Indeed, Mom’s health and safety were being jeopardized.
Mom passed away, and then Chris filed a lawsuit. Two years later the law suit settled, and she started looking for ways to leverage what she had learned. Chris wanted to benefit other families who had to make assisted living placement decisions.
Their hope is that their work levels the playing field. They want to advocate for consumers of assisted living services. They want them to be empowered and knowledgeable advocates for their resident in assisted living.
We created the freebie for you, “5 things to look for in an Assisted Living Community: hint: it’s not the beautiful chandelier!” To download the freebie, just go to http://RockYourRetirement.com/assistedliving. In case you are wondering, those five things are:
The freebie goes into a bit more detail.
On the show, Chris goes through all of these items to help us find what questions to ask when looking at an assisted living facility.
Did you find that you don’t understand the terminology? Me neither! I frequently call “assisted living facilities” by the wrong name! (My bad.) That’s why her organization created a free Android App called Assisted Living 101. It’s available at the Android Play Store (sorry iPhone users, but they are still working on the iPhone version). So download that today.
To end the show, Chris said that you DON’T have to RETIRE! Working can be a reason to get up in the morning.
The Silver Hour – 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after death
In this episode of Rock Your Retirement we talked with Dr. Marilyn Stoner.
She is a professor at California State University San Bernardino, and before that she was on Faculty at CSU Fullerton. She was also the Vice President for Ramona Home Care and Hospice in Hemet, California.
Dr. Stoner’s passion is about end of life care and she has been working with seniors and in the senior care industry since 1998. Her grandparents owned a funeral home so she is also familiar with death. She is a Professor now and has discovered something called the SilverHour which is the 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after death. She developed a unified vision of what the last moments of life and the first moments of death are so that every care giver knows what to do.
The Silver Hour includes three phases, namely dying, death, and dead:
1st 20 minutes (Pre-mortem)
Changes in body temperature
Make sure family and care givers knows death is imminent
Declared dead (Mortem)
Wash body/prepare body
Family begins life as grieving relatives
Transport of body
Dr. Stoner also discusses that if you get some warning of death it is a gift. Use this time to have conversations with your loved one about end of life and what they would like. Start the conversations lightly and don’t try to discuss every detail all at once. Give your love one time and space if needed.Also, ask them if there is anything they would like to do. Complete items on a bucket list, or travel somewhere if they are able
Something people should know before they retire:
Think about what you want and start working on it. Research or watch YouTube videos and what you think you may like to do. Think about what your goal is.
How to get “unstuck” in your retirement:
Focus on how absolutely precious life is and it is not going to go on forever. Identify people you admirer. Is your life going to be spent on the couch or doing something?