On this episode of Advice From Your Advocates podcast, Bob spoke with Pamela Wilson, SA, MS, BS/BA,CG. Pamela is an expert in the field of caregiving and has personally helped thousands of families since 2000 through her advocacy, educational speaking engagements, appointed guardian positions, and support channels via her Facebook group, published book, and her podcast.
Through her work, Pamela intends to help caregivers and people in the field come together to fill in the gaps in caregiving. Pamela noted that her overall goal is to help people take more control over their situations to feel less overwhelmed and stressed by the daily challenges that caregiving presents.
Pamela spoke with Bob about her history in being a court appointed guardian from the years of 2007-2018 for hundreds of individuals in the state of Colorado. She noted that many elders do not have family they can lean on for medical or financial assistance to manage their affairs, including Medicare. Bob and Pamela also spoke about the misconceptions that families face in their overall control of their loved one’s affairs, even after they’ve been appointed guardian and/or legal authority figure. In certain situations, an elder’s guardian or power of attorney won’t advocate for their specific wants or best-case scenario as it relates to their overall health and decisions.
Pamela noted that these difficult choices can often plague a family member, and in certain instances she has implemented supervised visits for the well-being of the elder with cognitive decline or impairment in order to protect their mental health.
Of note, Pamela mentioned that caregiver stress can cause absenteeism in their personal and professional life, and as of a recent study, evidence was found that around 30% of caregivers leave the workplace because they feel they cannot balance both responsibilities. There are also health related social needs that don’t often get discussed as it relates to the disconnect between the disease professional and/or the caretaker and the elderly adult. Bob and Pamela discussed the societal factors that impact the long-term care of a senior with a caretaker that healthcare professionals tend to avoid asking. Factors like income, anxiety and anything that might overall affect the seniors or caretakers’ abilities to be diligent about medications and disease prevention. Resources like Medicare provide abilities for appointments for care planning as well as the ability to have a pharmacist do an annual overview of medication plans to ensure that all remain the best course of action for a senior in need.
The conversation concluded with Bob and Pamela discussing the importance of what we call “the ugly truth” in that when you hire an elder care professional; albeit an advocate or even an Elder Law Attorney it is their job to be upfront and honest about the realities of you and your loved one’s situation. Although the truth can be difficult, it is essential to level set expectations and plan out the best course of action to avoid financial and emotional hardship later on.
For more information on Pamela and her services. Please visit:
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