P.L.A.N. — Please Look At Now

Happy Older Americans month! Successful aging takes some planning. April was National Health Care Decision reminder week. It is so important to be prepared and plan for an emergency or illness. A health care proxy, medical treatment wishes, will or other care arrangements can be made easier with planning. It can, however, be a difficult subject to discuss. The time to plan is when things are going well and NY Connects can help! In an emergency things are chaotic and stressful. It is best to P*L*A*N (Please Look At Now).

A health care proxy is a document that allows an individual of your to make certain health care decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. You should select a person you trust. It is best to review this regularly with the person chosen and let them have a copy or know where the document is kept. Your doctor should also have a copy on file. The New York State Department of Health notes that everyone over the age of 18 needs to appoint a health care agent. NY Connects can send you a health proxy form so that you can document that person you have chosen. This can help you be prepared in case of an emergency. You can give a copy of your proxy to your doctors, your closest hospital and keep the information in an “important medical papers” file on your refrigerator.

One of the areas you can start to look at are your home and personal safety measures such as a personal emergency response button. Also, other in home resources including services to provide nutritional information and services for meals as well as help with personal care needs. Health insurance information counseling, including the Medicare savings program, health and wellness programs, aid with transportation needs and activities to help you stay engaged and an active part of society are also areas to be reviewed. Your plan should be to evaluate what you have, what you may need, find resources that can help and what you need to do to get help. NY Connects can help you with this.

People can get information and assistance with referrals to many community agencies and programs designed to help people remain at home and offer support in their communities. We encourage people of all ages, caregivers, families or individuals looking to plan to call us. NY Connects service can help you! This service is confidential and free. NY Connects can assist you even further by making referrals directly to several programs even while you are on the phone line saving you time and additional phone calls.

You can access Chautauqua County New York Connects in many ways to fit your needs. E-mail: ccnyc@co.chautauqua.ny.us, Phone: Mayville 753-4582, Dunkirk 363-4582 or Jamestown 661-7582. NY Connects Fax # is 753-4477. You can even come to our main office location at 7 North Erie St, Mayville, New York. NY Connects is brought to you by a partnership with Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County department of Health and Human Services.