Experts provide tips on where to turn in a caregiving emergency
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by Bruce Horovitz
“En español | The good news: COVID-19 was not at issue when then-64-year-old Ginny Valenze had to quickly and independently assemble caregiving help for herself after suffering a very serious medical emergency while out of town.
“The bad news: It still required an array of often-confusing calls and wide outreach to friends and neighbors that left her feeling utterly vulnerable and, as she said, “terrified.” Never mind that her own profession as a patient advocate for pharmaceutical companies stretched for more than 20 years.
“‘You don’t ever think this is going to happen to you — until it does,’ says Valenze, now 70, who never married and lives on her own in Whippany, New Jersey. She was the caregiver for her late father, and assisted with the care of her mom and one sister, who both died when she was a teen, but ironically, she says, she didn’t have her own self-care plan in place. Another sister lives much too far away to be of daily assistance. ‘Your world can turn upside down in an instant, and the older you get, the more likely it will.’
“Her best advice: Make a plan. This is particularly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.”