So many unforeseen events have happened during this pandemic. CJSA professional staff are really having to reinvent themselves in so many ways, and we are constantly having to stretch ourselves in order to cope with the different requests and issues that come our way.
Many of our seniors are entirely alone without family members in Cape Town. Having to cope with daily issues is hard enough for many of our members, but when major problems arise, it can be catastrophic.
It is very important to have structures in place for every eventuality, much like preparing for retirement which is best done from an early stage, during your working career. The same goes for planning for your ageing needs whilst at optimum health, and while you have family or trusted friends to help you plan.
Getting your affairs in order
• No one ever plans to be sick or disabled. Yet it’s this sort of planning that makes all the difference if an emergency does arise.
• Put your important papers and copies of legal documents in one place. You can set up a file, put everything in a desk or dresser drawer, or list the information and location of papers in a notebook. If your papers are in a bank safe deposit box, keep copies in a file at home. Check each year to see if there’s anything new to add.
• Tell a trusted family member or friend where you put all your important papers. You don’t need to tell this friend or family member about your personal affairs, but someone should know where you keep your papers in case of an emergency. If you don’t have a relative or friend you trust, ask a lawyer to help.
• Discuss your end-of-life preferences with your doctor. He or she can explain what health decisions you may have to make in the future and what treatment options are available. Talking with your doctor can help ensure your wishes are honoured.
• Give permission in advance for your doctor or lawyer to talk with your caregiver as needed. There may be questions about your care, a bill, or a health insurance claim. Without your consent, your caregiver may not be able to get the information required. You can give your okay in advance to your bank, or your doctor. You will have to do this in writing, in the presence of both.
Advance care planning is not just about old age. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you too ill to make your own health care decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you would want, should you are unable to speak for yourself and doctors and family members are making the decisions for you.
Think about the type of decisions that may need to be made in such cases, and questions that may arise, so you’re prepared later. It can help you decide who you would want to make decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. It will also discuss ways you can share your wishes with others. Appointing someone to make decisions for you, and knowing how you would decide might take some of the burden off family and friends.
Advance care planning involves learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made and about your preferences. These preferences are often put into a written advance directive, a document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. This could be the result of disease or severe injury — no matter how old you are. It helps others know what type of medical care you want. It also allows you to express your values and desires related to end-of-life care. You might think of it as a living document representing your expressed wish — one that you can adjust as your situation changes because of new information or a change in your health.
The drafting of an advance directive is your responsibility. It is, however, recommended that an advance directive be drafted in conjunction with medical advice and counselling. It is further advisable that patients discuss the specific terms of their advance directives on a continuing basis with their medical practitioner(s).
You will need to talk with a lawyer about setting up a general power of attorney, durable power of attorney, joint account, trust, or advance directive. Be sure to ask about the lawyer’s fees before you make an appointment.
This document ensures that your family and doctors know what your wishes are if the time comes that you are unable to express your needs and wishes. It is important to note that an advance directive and living will are not regarded as a legal document in South Africa, but it is definitely a good way of expressing your care wishes, as often these issues are not discussed for fear of repercussions and upsetting family members.
Diana Sochen, Director
Note that the CJSA Wine is available at a donation of R80 per bottle. Please support this fundraising initiative.
Social and Personal
Even during the lockdown period, there have been numerous occasions of celebration.
We welcome new members
Angela Butlion, Mervyn Friedland, Joan Fried, Robyn Meyerowitz, Selwyn Horowitz and Linda Symons
Welcome and Mazaltov to the families celebrating births
Hannah Sofer – great-grandson
Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691, firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691, email@example.com
CJSA on Facebook
Sea Point: 021 434 9691
Milnerton: Hajiera Safidien–Maloon 021 555 1736
S/Suburbs: Monique Nieuwenhuys 021 761 7960
W/Coast: Stacey Melmed 074 405 5186
• Published in the PDF edition of the June 2021 issue – Download here.
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