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March: Message from the President – Stephen B. McPherson

March 1, 2012

Remember the phrase “things happen in three’s?”  In late January, I participated in a panel discussion at Masonicare at Ashlar Village on the importance of planning.  Sharing the podium with me were an elder law attorney, a social worker and a long-term care insurance agent. Many insightful questions were asked and many anecdotal stories shared on how the lack of planning for future healthcare needs can result in extreme stress and, often, bad decisions.

A week or so later, I attended another meeting to talk about Masonicare and the good work we do each day. Afterward, there were similar questions on how and when to access our continuum of services, and when one ought to begin planning. The best response to the planning question is “yesterday!” If that doesn’t apply, try “right now.”

On a more personal note, I received a call from an elderly former neighbor who had fallen. After two weeks, his pain was not getting better and he wasn’t satisfied with the advice he was getting. He was seeking help on where to turn. After a visit with one of our physicians in Masonicare Primary Care, a pain management program was begun. This was followed by therapy in the rehabilitation department at Masonicare Health Center. Now that my friend is well on the road to recovery, his family is beginning a discussion on independent living options on our Wallingford campus.

My friend is one of the lucky ones. Things seem to have fallen in place in an orderly fashion. Unfortunately, the more typical scenario is a frantic family discussion culminating in a tension-filled decision – and oftentimes, one the senior hasn’t fully participated in.

Have you begun your future health care planning? Is a Masonicare service something you would prefer? Start planning now. The Masonicare HelpLine is free and can be reached at 888-679-9997.