Caring for Aging Parents

...What Worries You the Most?

Mom seems much more forgetful. Dad's having trouble getting around, and your siblings don't want to talk about it. In the face of family changes caused by aging, disease, or other life circumstances, the questions can be worrisome, and the answers hard to find. These lunchtime seminars offer an opportunity to share your concerns, and gain the practical information you need to make the plans and provide the support that will work best for you and your loved ones.

Estate Planning Basics

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Building 76-156; The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Presenter – Patricia C. D’Agostino, J.D.; Senior Associate, Margolis & Bloom, LLP 

This seminar will provide an overview of the essential estate-planning documents that everyone should have. It will include a discussion of:

  • Appointing trusted individuals to make your medical and financial decisions if you are unable 
  • How and why to avoid probate court, which involves delays in decisions and financial distributions 
  • How to minimize Massachusetts and federal estate taxes
  • Tips for protecting assets for future generations and disabled beneficiaries

Patricia will also discuss the eligibility rules for MassHealth coverage of long-term care and some steps you can take to preserve your assets in the event you, or your family members, do require MassHealth coverage in the future.

A Proactive Approach to Caregiving: Guidance on Planning Ahead

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Building NE49-5145 (5th Floor, T-Lab)

Presenter – Jody Gastfriend, LICSW; Vice President, Senior Care Services,

Mom or Dad may be healthy and independent now, so conversations about care requirements as they get older have been pushed to the back burner. But chances are you will find yourself in the role of caregiver at some point in the future. Planning ahead and communicating early and often with your parents can help you avoid pitfalls down the road. Learn about strategies for proactive planning, options for care, and the cost of long term care. Most importantly, learn how to broach the topic of care preferences with a parent or loved one to decrease resistance and enhance the likelihood of a positive outcome.

One-on-One Senior Care Consultations

Senior Care Advisor – Jennifer Gibbons, M.S.W., LICSW; Senior Care Advisor,

A licensed Geriatric Social Worker will be available three days a month for free, in-person consultations, by appointment, at the Work-Life Center. These individual and family consultations can be focused on any issues you are facing in regard to caring for an aging family member or finding care for yourself. Personalized, professional advice and support about how to plan for your short-term and long-term care needs will be provided. In the consultation, you will receive information and guidance about types of service providers, associated costs, and available benefits, as well as caregiving tips and helpful resources.

Consultations are available on MIT Main Campus in Cambridge, MA on the following days:

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2017
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2017
  • Thursday, November 9, 2017
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017
  • Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Consultations with a masters-level geriatric social worker are now also available in Waltham, conveniently located right off route 95. This building is easily accessible for family members who may have difficulty with mobility. Consultations will be arranged to best meet your schedule.

To request an in-person individual or family consultation at the Waltham office, please email Jennifer Gibbons, LICSW at or call (781) 795-7248.

Caregiver Support Group: Caring for an Aging Family Member

Building NE49-5000 (5th Floor, T-Lab)

This group meets from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays, from September through December.

  • Wednesday, September 27, 2017
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017
  • Wednesday, December 20, 2017

This support group is a gathering of those caring for aging family members. Meetings are meant to relieve caregiver isolation by connecting with others in similar situations. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a combined effort to better cope with and manage your caregiving responsibilities in a safe environment. The goal of this group is to provide participants with the support and resources to assist in their caregiving roles. 

Caregiver Support Group: Caring for a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia

Building NE49-5000 (5th Floor, T-Lab)

This group meets from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays, from September through December.

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017
  • Thursday, November 9, 2017
  • Thursday, December 7, 2017

This support group will focus on those caring for family members with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Caring for a family member with a progressive disease can be overwhelming and fraught with emotion. The goal for this group is to provide useful strategies and tools for the caregiver, as well as the opportunity for caregivers to connect with others in similar situations. 

Caregiving and the Holidays: What to do when a Visit to Mom and Dad Raises Red Flags (Webinar)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Presenter – Jennifer Gibbons, M.S.W., LICSW; Senior Care Advisor,

The holidays can be a wonderful time to spend with family. But over the course of a visit, you may worry that Mom has forgotten how to make her famous pumpkin pie and Dad can’t seem to find the right words. During the holiday season, you might notice a shift in your parent’s behavior or cognition, which can lead to increased anxiety and fear. This webinar will help you identify what changes might be warning signs of decline and what steps to take to address those concerns.

Elder Law Basics (Webinar)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Presenter – Jay Kearns, J.D.; Special Needs Trust Lawyer

Estate and long-term care planning are imperative to ensure a smooth transition into the later part of your life. We will discuss what Elder Law encompasses. The discussion will focus on estate documents, such as powers of attorney, healthcare directives, living wills, and wills and trusts. We will discuss long-term care planning, including the different programs and planning available to help with the costs of long-term care while protecting your assets for your loved ones. Join us and take an active role in planning your future.