Over a year ago, our law firm joined a national organization called the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association, which is dedicated to helping our elderly clients live the highest quality of life available to them. This is accomplished, we believe, by assisting our clients to obtain the highest quality of care available to them under their circumstances. We educate our elderly clients (and their families) regarding their health and personal care options and locate community and government resources to allow them to continue living independently in their own home for as long as possible (hopefully, that is their whole life) if that is what they want to do.
Two resources that are still in the development stage in our community are the Silicon Valley “Village”, which is a cooperative of individuals dedicated to creating a “retirement community” for themselves, with all of the advantages of such a community, while staying in their own homes. The Village concept was started a few years ago in Boston and has been spreading around the country since then. There are Villages now in San Francisco and the Palo Alto area. The Silicon Valley Village will consist primarily of elders in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Campbell, and West San Jose. Each Village is a community grass roots collaborative organized by interested dedicated individuals. The Silicon Valley Village started organizing just about a year ago. I will be blogging more about the SV Village as plans for it mature.
The second resource that is coming does not have a name yet (at least I don’t know one if it has). This resource will provide, with the use of technology, a means to monitor seniors in their own homes so they can stay living there safely. It allows seniors to remain independent rather than being forced to move to a residential care facility simply due to a need for more supervision. The system consists of webcams set up throughout a senior’s home that provide a live feed to a computer that learns the living habits of the senior and alerts caring family and volunteers when something changes so that they can monitor the live feed to make sure the senior does not need assistance. While this system may seem like it invades the senior’s privacy, the fact is that it is much less invasive than the loss of privacy resulting from having to live in a residential care facility for the elderly. This system will not replace in-home caregivers for seniors needing help with bathing, dressing, etc., but may reduce the number of caregiver hours that are needed. It is being developed by a physician in Maine, Dr. Chip Teel, who has written a book entitled, “Alone and Invisibe No More”. You can check out Dr. Teel and find several video clips of him talking about the system on line.
We at Carney, Sugai & Sudweeks LLP are always looking for new resources, such as the Village and tools, such as Dr. Teel’s webcam system to help our senior clients age happily in their own homes and in their own communities. Our elder care coordination services help seniors to know and access resources in our community, and use appropriate tools and technology to remain independent for as long as possible. By combining elder care coordination services with the legal services of long-term care planning, Carney, Sugai & Sudweeks provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to caring for seniors that we call, Life Care Planning. We would be delighted to meet with you to determine whether our Life Care Planning services would help you or your loved one. Call or email us today for an appointment.