The Email Every Adult Child Caring for Their Aging Parent Dreads “Changes to Medicare Coverage”

Around September every year, the emails begin. “Important changes to your Medicare health and drug coverage,” and “Plan ahead for Medicare open enrollment,” and “Is your Medicare Advantage plan right for you?”

Mixed in there are also the scam emails. And then also if an actual letter slips past you, the caregiver, and your parent gets hold of it, be prepared for questions and fixations around their insurance. Yeah, happened to me this year after being as vigilant as I could be about changing mom’s mailing address to mine and also asking the nurses to hold her mail. What can I say? I tried.

What I know is this – there’s a lot of information coming at you. You don’t want to deal with it. Yet you have to deal with it and it feels overwhelming.

I’m going to share with you my top tips to make this process easier on you, the caregiver.

First, from what I understand, you have until December 7th when Medicare’s Annual Election Period ends to decide to either keep the coverage your loved one has or decide on another plan. Which means that you still have time to break this process down and make it as easy on you as possible.

Tip #1: Break this process down into smaller, less intimidating chunks.

First, decide that you won’t decide anything right away. Take a look at the emails, log into the sites – Medicare and also any supplemental insurance sites your parent has and see what they have to say. Get used to the language and the navigation of the sites themselves. And also get used to the fact that the sites are hard to navigate and some information is usually missing or the page is not active (looking at you, United Healthcare).

Tip #2: Walk away from everything related to Medicare plans. Breathe. Take a walk. Do something nice for yourself. Seriously, I’m not kidding here. This deciding on a new plan is not any fun.

Tip #3: Go back to this a few days later. Looking at this with fresh eyes allows the the opportunity to see things differently and to begin to understand the information.

Tip #4: If you can find a way to compare your loved one’s current plan with the plan for the new year, that is the easiest way I’ve found to see if any big changes are in store.

Tip #5: Remember that this is a difficult and really not enjoyable process. Remember that you are doing the very best you can and your decision will reflect that. Know that it is going to take time and it’s not a one look and your done kind of decision. Give yourself some grace & space with that.

What are your tips for navigating through Medicare plans each year? Let me know in the Facebook Group, Support for Adult Children of Senior Citizens.

❤️Coach Wendy

Raising your momma

I remember the struggles I went through as I was suddenly called on to make decisions for my mom’s care AND the role reversal that took place AND dealing with now having to be in control while at the same time not letting my mom feel that she’s lost control.

This pandemic and the lockdown gave me an opportunity to see if what I had been thinking of and pushing away for years could actually be something that I could be of service to others. So…… August I created is a pilot course program to support adult children that are just beginning to caregiver to their aging parents transition from being the child into being the adult so they can come to terms with the role reversal and easily navigate what’s next…….becuase there is always a what’s next.

I identified the need for this program by not only remembering my journey but also by talking with other adult children who were or had cared for, were caring for or decided on care for their parent.

I remember the stress, worry, physical & emotional burnout and the feeling of being on a hamster wheel that I experienced.

Looking back, the lessons I learned, the self-care, and the strategies I put into place, I’m stronger and I feel much more capable deciding on and caring for my mom.

I knew that when it came time to care for my mom, that I was going to do it my way. I know that sounds selfish, so let me explain. When my mom was caring for my grandma, that was my mom’s whole world. She would spend nights and days and weeks at my grandmas – while my step-dad was home alone. She would make endless runs into town daily. She was so tired that she wasn’t making the best choices.

Even in the midst of this COVID pandemic, my mom is thriving. As a daughter, that is my greatest joy.

Even during this pandemic, mom is doing really well. She’s happy, feels safe and is enjoying life. And at 84, she is always busy.

It was not easy to take charge. My mom is stubborn and she fought me on it until that day that she had yet another fall (the 2nd in just a few months) and it was a bad one. She had two black eyes and a split lip. An evening spent in the hospital. The next day, I asked her, “Mom, what do you want to do?” She knew I was referring to how she was going to live out the rest of her life. She said, “I want to move to Waterford.” Well, I about fell off my chair because Waterford is a retirement community that I knew of by name. Mom had attended some lunch and learns at Waterford and got to know some of the residents and got to see how it operated.

What is know is, step-by-step, one next action by one next action, one day you’ll realize the roles have reversed.

There is a lot of value in getting used to being the adult & making decisions, feeling empowered to make decisions, getting some of your life back, having peace of mind as well as support, solutions & resources.

Are you the adult child who is just beginning to care for your aging parent? Are you looking to reduce stress, empower yourself to make decisions, reduce stress and get your life back?

I have just the thing you need. Solutions for anxiety, stress & feeling isolated while caring for your aging parent.

You can download your copy here.

If you are feeling anxious, stressed and isolated, you should know that there is another way to care for your aging parent. In this resource, I’ll share over a dozen solutions that have worked for me as I’m caring for my aging mother.

You are not alone.

❤️Coach Wendy