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Long-term Care (LTC): How do we prepare for it?

Long-term care Long-term care involves a lot of long-term planning. Seeing my grandparents who have dementia, among other illnesses, makes me realize why it is crucial to plan for long-term care as early as possible and while we are still healthy. Needless to say, there are plenty of emotional and financial costs involved when caring for the elderly. For those of us who have not yet reached that stage in our lives, this is a good time to think about potential strategies so that when the time comes, hopefully we can feel less stressed about the situation.

 

What is long-term care (LTC)?

Most people probably associate long-term care with nursing homes, but that is not the complete picture. It is helpful to think of long-term care as the support that a person needs in order to perform his/her activities of daily living (ADLs) during his/her later years [More on ADLs here]. This can mean receiving care at one’s own home or living in a nursing home or assisted living.

 

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Poem: “Stubborn Old Man”

Continuing the theme of aging, I’ll share a poem that I wrote on June 5, 2014. (To my IEDP cohort – this is what I read during my culture share!) I come from a family of healthcare practitioners and many of our friends are either therapists or nurses. My parents and I are very close-knit and service-oriented, which is why we are drawn to our professions. Our business is always about helping others. I wrote this when I was waiting in the nursing home where my dad worked:

IEDP cultural share 2014
IEDP Culture Share

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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What Dementia is Teaching me About Our ‘True’ Selves

Dementia purple angel logo

Anyone who has cared for a family member with dementia can tell you how challenging and emotionally draining it is. My family has been taking care of my grandparents for a few months now and it has been a transformative experience. It is an understatement to say that our situation is revelatory of hidden emotions and personal weaknesses.

Many times my grandparents cannot recall names of family members and even events that occurred just a few minutes ago. This leads to a cycle of repeated questions and repeated answers. Dementia is a condition that does not just affect a person’s memory; it alters a lot of the person’s typical behavior and cognitive functions. My grandparents exhibit unusual behaviors and make comments that can be hurtful, but not necessarily intentional. Still, it is very difficult to discern what is true and what is false or what is part of their condition and what is part of their true selves.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Allegiance, Family, and History

What’s past is past but it’s not the last

We’re not alive to just remember.

When life has said to you:

Not a chance, but two.

Life has granted you a second chance.

[Music and lyrics by Jay Kuo]

Truly “we’re not alive to just remember,” yet we remember in order to extract meaning and lessons from the past. I found out about Allegiance back in 2010 when I heard the song “Second Chances” sung by Lea Salonga. Being a fan of musicals, I wanted to see the show in person. Thankfully, I got a chance to see Allegiance on Broadway in October 2015. I enjoyed the performance and I assume many of the audience members around me did as well based on the laughter and tears that they shed. I must say that Michael K. Lee’s portrayal of his character Frankie was the standout for me.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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A Short Note on Financial Literacy and Financial Health

When we hear the word ‘health,’ I assume we think about our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. We sometimes forget to take care of our financial health, even though finances affect all aspects of our lives. In our family business, we help families and individuals consider options for education planning, retirement planning, and long-term care. Most importantly (and this is my favorite part), we can provide financial education.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Development Work and Postmodernist Thinking: Is there no absolute right or wrong?

This is a short reflection that I wrote for one of my courses during grad school:

 

“At the heart of postmodernism lies a patent self-contradiction. It expects us to accept, as absolute truth, that there are no absolute truths. We should note this common, fatally flawed characteristic of relativistic thinking: it tries to exclude itself from its own pronouncements” (Lennox, 2015, p. 39).

 

Relativism is an interesting and alluring thought, particularly for us who work in diverse settings. We see more gray areas than perhaps any other color in the spectrum of life. The temptation is to say that one can never truly know what is right or that there is even such a thing as a right action. This thinking will inevitably stumble upon a dead end.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Poem: Reminisce

Since it is Valentine’s Day, here is a poem (or as I prefer to call it, thoughts on a page) that combines the theme of memories and love. I wrote this in May 2014 while I was listening to “Memory,” a track from the OST of Emma: A Victorian Romance. The painting is called The Ball or An Elegant Soiree by Victor Gabriel Gilbert.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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The Future in Our Minds

UN Headquarters Sept 25-27 2015

In my previous post I touched upon the reason for and meaning of ‘designing’ our future. This time the emphasis is on the ‘future.’ In particular, the future as envisioned by the overarching framework of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The deadline of these goals is set for 2030.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Why ‘Design’ Your Future

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“Consequences are bound to the choices you make. You can have your choice, but you cannot choose your consequence.” – Ravi Zacharias

“We all create the person we become by our choices as we go through life. In a real sense, by the time we are adults, we are the sum total of the choices we have made.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

 

The power of our choices is one of the most important lessons that I learned from my parents. As I was growing up I was taught to be mindful of my choices since they have consequences. Our choices build our character and influence people in ways that we may not always understand. Through our choices, we affect relationships and how our future unfolds.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.