Mary Jo Saavedra ’12, M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, published Eldercare 101, a guide for caring for the aging, in 2016.
Eldercare 101: A Practical Guide to Later Life Planning, Care and Wellbeing (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) was created by gerontologist Mary Jo Saavedra with section contributions from experts in the fields of elder law, health care, financial management and planning, housing options, spirituality and end-of-life issues. The contributors include Susan Cain McCarty, Theresa Giddings, Rev. Lawrence Hansen, Dr. Benjamin B. Hellickson, Joyce Sjoberg and Sara K. Yen.
According to Saavedra and her contributors, elder care and crisis management has reached the tipping point. By 2020, 54 million people in the U.S. will be over the age of 65; by 2030, that number will top 80 million.
Eldercare 101 can help answer many of the questions that will come up for elders and their families. For example, the book features concrete, practical topics such as how to find home health care, understanding the legalese of elder law and estate planning, preparing for medical and safety concerns, decoding Medicare and Medicaid, and optimizing aging-in-place strategies. It also covers emotionally vulnerable areas such as what to do about an elder who shouldn’t drive, having difficult conversations about death and dying, how to avoid scamming, and exploring spirituality and purpose at end of life.
Eldercare 101 is a well-researched, organized guide for families caring for aging loved ones. The book is organized into six “pillars of aging wellbeing”: legal, financial, living environment, social, medical and spiritual. Each pillar is explored by an expert and offers best practices and tips for evaluating choices and making decisions.
“We wanted to provide an easy-to-understand, holistic guide for those providing care to their aging spouses, parents, siblings and friends,” said Saavedra. “By focusing on the six ‘pillars of aging wellbeing’ and utilizing the expertise of industry specialists, we were able to accomplish that.”
Mary Jo Saavedra earned her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in gerontology from Marylhurst University in 2012. Her thesis is titled Silver is the New Black : Unleashing the Professional Value of Boomers Past Age 65 Through Vocation-centric Lifestyles. She is a practicing gerontologist and aging life-care manager.