Q: A friend of mine just told me that she has attended several presentations of interest to seniors at the Westlake Village Civic Center. Is this an ongoing offering and, if so, can you provide particulars?
A: Your friend is right on the mark. Senior Concerns and the city of Westlake Village present a monthly seminar at the Westlake Village Civic Center.
The series is titled “Senior Issues” and is scheduled from 1:30-3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month except January, August and December.
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot lately about medication errors and am concerned about my dad and his prescriptions. What might I do to help avoid a problem?
A: I did some checking with those who work with prescriptions and was told that about half of patient safety issues are related to medications.
To ensure safety patients or caregivers must take an active role in educating themselves about their illnesses and associated medications.
There are basic questions to ask about each medication that is prescribed: What is the name of the medication prescribed and is it a brand or generic drug? What is the purpose of the medication? How and where should this medication be taken and for what period of time? What side effects can be expected and if they occur what action should be taken?
Q: I, like many seniors, want to age in my own home. I have heard people use the terms “aging in place” and “village to village” and would like to learn more about both. Can you suggest where I could start my research?
A: You are not alone in wanting to remain in your own home. Studies made by AARP indicate the vast majority of older adults want to age in place. They prefer to remain in the communities they know rather than move to a different area even though it might be more suited to their needs.
However, changing health care needs, loss of mobility, financial concerns, home maintenance and increasing property taxes present significant challenges to this simple and primary desire.
Aging in Place is made up of a range of programs that address these challenges and provide
Q: I am ashamed to admit I was a victim of a scam. Can you give some hints that will help others spot a con artist?
A: Don’t beat up on yourself for being taken. Anyone can be a victim. A clever con artist is a good actor who disarms the victim with a good-guy approach. Potential victims often share the same characteristics. Many times the victim will be an older woman who is living alone and very trusting. Be careful if that description doesn’t fit you, as anyone can become a victim.
You’ll never detect a con artist by looks. However, words and expressions can reveal his or her true identity. The con artist’s ultimate goal is the victim’s money. The scheme will often require cash only or involve secret plans and get-rich-quick and something-for-nothing promises.
Q: My parents are getting on in age and will eventually need my assistance. I have no idea where to start planning. Can you suggest some starting points?
A: Many people avoid dealing with this subject until a crisis arises. You are to be congratulated for wanting to be prepared. There are four areas that you should become knowledgeable with: living arrangements, medical coverage, estate planning and finances.
Talk with your parents about their thoughts on future living arrangements when and if they become unable to care for themselves. If they want to remain in their own home you will need to familiarize yourself with the community resources available to provide the support they will require. You should also research alternative living arrangements in case remaining at home is no longer an option.