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Preparing an aging roadmap

One of the best things we can do as geriatric care managers is help our clients prepare for the changes that may occur as they get older and as more health concerns come to fruition. This includes planning for eventual eyesight problems, memory issues, among other problems, both age-related and otherwise. On the other hand, one of the most stressful things that can happen with elder clients is the sudden and unexpected onset of some new health issue or traumatic health crisis.

At Senior Steps, we plan for all of clients and their upcoming needs and health and wellness concerns. This includes much more than just clinical care and acute care for a sudden onset problem. It more importantly includes preparing both our clients and their healthcare professionals for issues that may arrive in the future. We refer to this as an aging roadmap, and it is one of the most important tools that we use to keep our clients happy healthy and aging well.

An aging roadmap is a specific plan for each of our clients that highlights the health needs that they have at the present, as well as the health needs that they may have in the short-term and the long-term future. Concerns as mundane as eventually needing a handrail installed on their front steps for stability, to the more intensive concerns with long-term health issues such as cancer. But above all, the point of this aging roadmap is not as an end-all-be-all of what’s going to happen and how to handle it, but rather a guidebook for managing the process of aging.

Above all, Senior Steps is concerned with helping our clients live happy and fulfilling li es into their elder years, no matter their health concerns. In this light, when we create a roadmap for our clients it is not a clinical document highlighting the issues that they may face. It is not a “doom-and-gloom” list of ailments. It is instead a working document, created together with our clients, that changes upcoming health concerns from an imposing upcoming problem, to an easy-to-handle and prepared lifestyle change.

As a brief example of how our roadmap can help our clients, even in the most mundane way, consider the following. Remember, at Senior Steps our primary focus is on ensuring our clients live happy and fulfilling lives regardless of health issues. One of our clients’ favorite foods is pepperoni pizza from a specific pizzeria near his work. As his ability to drive was impaired as he got older, and he had retired, it was no longer feasible for him to have his three-times a week order of pizza. As his geriatric care managers and concerned most importantly with our clients’ wellbeing and happiness, we made his life just a little bit easier and happier. Although they have weekly doctor visits and much more medication to take, along with physical therapy, our clients also receives, once a week, a large pepperoni pizza from their favorite pizza place.

This small pizza story, although mundane and a bit silly, highlights our approach to elderhood here at Senior Steps. There is no reason to age into elderhood with a morose and depressed attitude, unable to live a happy life. As geriatric care managers, we ensure that all our clients and their families live healthy, happy confident lives. Including a pepperoni pizza once in a while…

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