Lorenzo Mejia

The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: The Five Wishes – Important Decisions You Should Make About ‘Your End of Life’

  As we get older and cannot care for ourselves, it’s important to think about how we want our life to end. The Five Wishes constitute a living will that sets forth your personal, emotional and spiritual needs, as well as your medical wishes. A living will lets your loved ones know how to make decisions on your behalf.  They provide critical areas to think about now, when you have the time and mental capability. Wish One – Who do I want to make healthcare decisions for me when I can’t make them for myself? This person is your...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Keeping a Lid on the Cost of 24/7 Care

It’s a challenge we see often with our clients.  They want mom or dad to stay at home.  In fact, they PROMISED them they could stay there.  But the costs of doing so can be exorbitant.   The economics get really frustrating when the loved one doesn’t need a lot of care, but can’t be left alone.  You need someone in the house 24/7.   With typical home care in Chapel Hill costing $20 to $22/hour, that’s $175,000 or more per year! In cases like these, live in care  is a more affordable option and can reduce the cost of 24/7...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

Like all insurance, you may never need it, but when you do, you’re glad that you made the investment. Long-term care insurance is one way to pay for the cost of nursing homes and in-home caregivers.  It was initially introduced as nursing home insurance but now covers the cost of other facilities and caregivers at home, as well. It’s a fact that our need for care grows the older we get.  Things like bathing and dressing become more challenging.  We might also need care after an illness or major injury, like a stroke, heart attack or broken leg. No...

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The Caring Corner: Mom Needs a Little Bit of Help. What Things Can a Caregiver Do for Her?

It’s one of the most common questions we get asked by a new client.  What services do caregivers provide?   By law, home care in North Carolina is non-medical.  No license is required for an individual to be a caregiver.  While some might have a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license, many of the most compassionate and experienced caregivers are not CNAs. Caregivers provide services ranging from companionship to full personal care, referred to as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). A caregiver can engage mom in hobbies or other activities she enjoys.  One of our clients was into photography, and every...

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The Caring Corner: Where Do I Turn? The Orange County Department on Aging is A Safe Bet

With any new challenge or project, the hardest thing is getting started.  If you have an aging loved one that you are starting to worry about, a good place to start is the Orange County Department on Aging (OCDOA). The OCDOA is an incredible resource where seniors and caregivers can meet folks in similar situations and find a knowledgeable person to guide them in matters related to care, finances, fitness and day-to-day practical needs. There are two modern senior centers located in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.  They offer a wide variety of aging services, wellness and education activities, excursions...

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The Caring Corner: Should Mom Be Driving?

Should Mom Be Driving? As our parents age, it’s a question we inevitably ask.  If we are lucky, mom and dad realize that driving is something they are no longer comfortable doing.  More often, it’s a fight.  It’s a big step for our loved ones.  Driving is such an integral aspect of our independence. Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean that we slow down.  As an interesting example, Henry Leland started the Cadillac Motor Company when he was nearly 60 years old.   He founded Lincoln Motor Company almost a decade and a half later when he was 74! When you...

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The Caring Corner: My Dad Has Dementia. Will I?

My Dad Has Dementia. Will I? If there’s anything as troubling as having a parent with dementia, it might be the thought that you’re next.  Watching your loved one lose his or her mental capabilities can be exhausting and disheartening. Thinking that it will happen to you can be petrifying. Broadly, if your mom or dad has dementia, it means that you will have an increased likelihood of developing dementia.  However, there are many things to consider. What is the cause of your dad’s dementia?  Dementia is actually a symptom – cognitive decline – that is caused by an...

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The Story Behind a Painting: One Snapshot of Chapel Hill and the Old Methodist Church on Opening Day, 1853

This article was written by, Gordon Johnson,  a member of University UMC’s Records and History Committee. He recently commissioned a painting by local artist Michael Brown.  Gordon, wanted to create a “record” of the original church which opened in 1853 (the building still stands at the corner of Rosemary and Henderson Streets). My obsession began when Benjamin pointed to the ceiling and said, “See that? That’s where the steeple was.” I knew there was no steeple in this church, but he seemed pretty confident, so I heard him out. He continued, “Yes. That’s the framing that supported the steeple....

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The Caring Corner: Can Chocolate Be a Cure for Dementia?

Can Chocolate Be a Cure for Dementia? Don’t you love it when something you love is also good for you?   That may just be the case with chocolate. A new pill released in the UK is made entirely out of chocolate.  It contains flavanols extracted from cocoa that lower cholesterol and improve blood flow.   Research has demonstrated that flavanols assist in the manufacture of nitric oxide, which in turn, encourages the walls of the arteries to relax.   This means better flow of oxygen and nutrients to the body which helps keep your brain healthy, reducing your chance for dementia....

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The Caring Corner: Will Medicare Pay for Home Care?

Will Medicare Pay for Home Care? So often we get calls from folks who ask if Medicare will pay for home care visits.  They had a friend who was recovering from hip surgery and nursing assistants came to her home, compliments of Medicare. While yes, Medicare will pay for home care visits, it only does so on a limited basis and normally only after a medical event.  In the case of hip surgery, for example, they might pay for two or three bath visits per week, each lasting possibly 45 minutes.  And the visits will only last for a...

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