Planning for growing old focus of Grandmothers' forum

Grandmothers Roundtable

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"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
"... You know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go."
"Oh the Places You’ll Go."
— Dr. Seuss
Who me? Yes!
Throughout our lives we have places to go and decisions to make on how to get there. Have you ever wondered what it will be like to be old, possibly alone, perhaps in fragile health, forgetful, unable to drive? This could happen to any of us.
Have you ever thought about what would happen to you if there was an accident, a fall? Who would care for you? Who would pay for a caregiver?
What are your options for a place to stay: Your own home, an assisted living facility or nursing home?
Do you have the financial resources to support your care? Just what does Medicare pay for? Are these things that you and your family members should be talking about?
"You can get so confused
That you’ll start in to race
Down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
headed, I fear toward a most useless place.
The waiting Place..."
On Nov. 9, the Grandmothers Roundtable will present a forum on "The Health of Our Aging Population: Planning Ahead for Growing Older."
It takes place at Walla Walla Community College’s Enology and Viticulture Building on the corner of Isaacs Avenue and Tausick Way, at 7 p.m. Parking is just past the building off Isaacs Avenue.
This forum is in response to suggestions the Grandmothers received at our spring forum on the Health of Our Teenage Population. The Grandmothers were asked to look at the health of our senior community. We identified many areas of senior needs and wanted to see if those needs could be met within our community. We have been investigating these resources by inviting representatives from various agencies to meet with us to describe the services they offer.
We found there are a plethora of services, many unknown to us that should be known by all seniors and their family members. Four of these representatives will be speakers at the forum on Nov. 9. They are Mary Cleveland, program coordinator for the Office of Aging and Long Term Care; Mike Johnson, director of the Senior Center; Chris Howard, social worker for Hospice, and Carol Jean Thompson, attorney.
In addition to these speakers, representatives from Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Northwest Justice, the Red Cross and Valley Transit will be present to answer questions about the services they provide.
The forum is intended to help seniors — and their caregivers — learn what is available to them, and for family members who need to help plan with them. If your goal is to stay in your own home and be independent for as long as possible, there is agency support.
Several programs offer housekeeping or chore services. Meals on Wheels can deliver meals when needed. Transportation can be provided for doctor visits or other appointments. But steps must be taken to plan for these things to happen.
The Grandmothers Roundtable Forum will inform those who attend what agencies to call and how to access their services.
"On and on you will hike.
And I know you’ll hike far
And face up to your problems
Whatever they are."
Could this be for ME? I’m only 50, or 60 or 70. Let’s get started!
"So be sure when you step.
Step with great care and great tact
And remember that Life’s
A Great Balancing Act."
With great thanks to Dr. Seuss who helps guide us through life.

If you have questions or need more information about the forum, please contact Pat Yenney at (509) 529-6505 or e-mail bmoats@q.com

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