Page 58 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

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MAY 2013
AFSA Memorial Plaque Ceremony
May 3, Foreign Afairs Day
On May 3, AFSA will hold its 80th annual Memorial
Plaque Ceremony, honoring eight fallen Foreign
Service personnel who gave their lives in service to
the United States and the American people.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the C
Street lobby of the Department of State. Due to
space limitations, attendance at the ceremony is
limited to the honorees’ family and friends. Please
do not go to the lobby to view the ceremony.
You may view the ceremony on the department’s
BNet or in the Dean Acheson Auditorium from 10:00
to 10:45 a.m.
Benefts Speaker Series: Focus on Geriatric Care
On April 10, AFSA hosted
the ffth session in its
speaker series on federal
benefts. Carol Kaplun, a
nurse care manager at Iona
Senior Services, spoke
about geriatric assessment,
services and care manage-
ment, a topic important to
everyone, especially those
with aging parents or who
have already retired. As the
baby boomer generation hits
retirement age, and people
alive longer, demographic
trends suggest that this issue
will afect more and more
individuals and families in the
coming years and decades.
As Ms. Kaplun noted,
Iona is a nonproft located
in Washington, D.C., and has
provided essential services
to older adults, their family
members and caregivers in
the metropolitan area since
1975. It came about because
three local churches—St.
Columba’s Episcopal, St.
Ann’s Roman Catholic and
Eldbrooke United Method-
ist—joined forces to create
a center that would pro-
vide information to people
in need. As most of the
requests for information
were coming from people
over the age of 60, Iona’s
board voted to focus on serv-
ing older adults, regardless of
their ability to pay.
Iona ofers an array of
services, including expanded
adult day health wellness
and arts care, workshops and
caregiver education classes,
support groups, ftness
classes, consultations, care
management, counseling and
much more. It also estab-
lished an Artist in Residence
program, which honors the
creativity of a local artist
aged 60 and over, through
exhibitions of their work in
Iona’s gallery.
For those who live outside
of the D.C. area, Iona ofers
a live question-and-answer
helpline for support with an
aging parent, and is stafed
by nurses and social workers.
The helpline can be reached
at (202) 895-9448. Iona’s
Web site,,
ofers even more information.
After her presentation,
Ms. Kaplun answered ques-
tions from the audience on a
variety of topics. She advised
those considering geriatric
care management, that it is
important to have an in-home
assessment—in collaboration
with a social worker, nurse,
family or friends—to main-
tain the health and safety of
the patient. Most individuals
tend to refuse geriatric care
services, which is why a col-
laborative efort is important.
This can help when there
are diferences of opinions
between family members or
friends on what is the best
approach. The goal for most
services is that patients can
stay in their homes for as
long as possible.
Other questions focused
on long-term health insur-
ance and nursing homes.
When considering insur-
ance, Kaplun stressed the
importance of speaking with
a fnancial adviser to deter-
mine if the cost is feasible.
After doing a cost/beneft
analysis, and looking into
the insurance company’s
fnancial stability, you will be
better prepared.
When deciding on a nurs-
ing home or life-care com-
munity, do your homework
by consulting watch groups
who monitor and provide
accreditation for such facili-
ties like the Commission on
Accreditation of Rehabilita-
tion Facilities. You can fnd a
list of questions to ask when
visiting a nursing home,
assisted living facility or life-
care community on their Web
Ms. Kaplun reminded the
audience that an aging par-
ent sufering from memory
loss can be taken advantage
of, even by friends. So make
sure a family member or reli-
able person is looking out for
them and put other protec-
tions in place to prevent
this. In particular, establish
a joint bank account with
your parent and execute a
power of attorney agreement
should you need to sign legal
documents or have access
to the account without your
parent’s signature.
Finally, as you age,
remember that one of the
best gifts you can leave your
loved ones is making sure
everything is in order and
ready for any scenario. A
video of the event is available
for viewing at