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March 15, 2017

Joy’s House has a passion for caring for our loved ones

by Women's Fund

If you have to take care of an aging or disabled parent or other loved one, hopefully you will not have to do it alone. OPTIONS Alumnae and friends visited the warm, inviting Joy’s House in Broad Ripple which offers non-medical day services for aging or disabled “guests” in a beautiful home setting. These guests are all over 18 (average age of 70) and have one or more of a variety of diagnoses. Joy’s House can take care of your loved one during the day, and they can also take care of you when you need help as the caregiver.

Our discussion on March 9, centered on resources available to caregivers and were described by our three panelists. The first to speak was Justine Overturf Singh, a Vice President and Trust Officer at Fifth Third Bank and a member of OPTIONS Class 11. The message was clear – start communicating now with your family members before there is a medical or financial crisis. The panelists all agreed these are difficult discussions to have, but planning is essential. Justine says start with writing a list of assets, incomes, and commitments and talk with an advisor like her to help you with financial and estate planning. Make sure you establish Power of Attorney to have access to your loved ones assets.

The second panelist was Susan Cornacchione, VP of Development at CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions. This not-for-profit is Indiana’s largest Area Agency on Aging serving central Indiana. You can call their Resource Center for information, telephone assessments, and referrals. CICOA also provides in-home services, delivered meals, caregiver support, home safety modifications, and transportation.

Susan shared her own journey caring for her mother who is now in an acute care facility in Franklin. She pointed out that our lives can completely change in an instant when something happens to a family member. She suggested using friends your parents know as an example and find out what your parent would want if they were in the same situation. How do they want to be cared for? Do they have the assets to accomplish their goals? What if they get in an accident? Where is their information and who has legal access to it?

Our third panelist and host is the founder, President, and CEO of Joy’s House, Tina McIntosh, who has had her own challenges caring for her father. She has a wonderful, free tool to offer anyone who needs to get organized as a caregiver. Joy’s House has created CARE Kits that are binders of forms and templates to keep important information in one place. By filling out the CARE Kit with your loved one you will be walked through the conversations that need to occur.

Joy’s House has a passion for caring for our loved ones, and a real heart for looking out for their caregivers as well by offering referrals, support groups, topic discussions, and retreats when you need them. They have a radio show every Saturday morning, 7-8am, on WIBC 93.1, called Caregiver Crossings which reaches 10,000 listeners. The podcasts can be found on their website.

The take away from this intimate discussion was to take care of yourself first. Make sure your own information is recorded and your own financial and medical plans are documented.

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