A Caregiver’s Manual for Being Prepared for That Call in the Night

A Caregiver’s Manual for Being Prepared for That Call in the Night

As women, we are often expected to fill multiple roles: that of a loving mother, career woman, supportive wife or partner, volunteer in the community and, at some point for many, a new role—that of caregiver to our parents or loved ones.

For the last 30 years, I have helped clients plan for their “golden years,” including how they will address the issues of aging and how to remain independent. I have recently experienced this myself; I was the Designated Daughter for my own parents. Because my parents and I had “the important conversations” and did the proper planning, I was prepared when I received that Call in the Night. Part of creating the life of your dreams is making sure you address all the what ifs in your life. Skipping this step can create unpleasant complications that can be avoided. Our parents and loved ones are living longer, and we need to know how this might affect our lives and be prepared with a plan. (more…)

Smart Women Tip:  The Time to Prepare for Caregiving is Now!

Smart Women Tip: The Time to Prepare for Caregiving is Now!

Rosalyn Carter eloquently stated:

“There are only 4 types of people: those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who receive care, and those who will be caregivers in the future!

  • How many children are really prepared for that phone call from one of their parents or loved ones that will turn their lives upside down?
  • If you are the parent, are you prepared and have you talked with your children about your wishes if something should happen to you and you need assistance?

The secret is to be prepared so when a triggering event should happen, you will feel confident for making decisions and everyone involved will understand what’s expected.


‘Things to Come’ extols the joys of liberation

‘Things to Come’ extols the joys of liberation

“Things to Come” (“L’avenir”) (2016). Cast: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob, Sarah Le Picard, Solal Forte, Elise Lhomeau, Daniel Dray-Rabotnik, Guy-Patrick Sainderichen, Yves Heck, Rachel Arditi. Director: Mia Hansen-Løve. Screenplay: Mia Hansen-Løve. Web site. Trailer.

Having it made is something we all crave, right? The prospects of all of our material, vocational and emotional needs being met probably has tremendous appeal for most of us. But what happens when what we thought we wanted becomes a trap that keeps us from exploring other options? We may come to feel stifled, restricted and unfulfilled. But what do we do about it? Those are the questions raised in the thought-provoking new French melodrama, “Things to Come” (“L’avenir”). (more…)

Five Steps to Help You Prepare for That Call in the Night

Five Steps to Help You Prepare for That Call in the Night

Seniors woman with her caregiver at homeAs women, we are often expected to fill multiple roles: that of loving mother, career woman, supportive wife or partner and for many, a new role – that of a caregiver to our parents or loved ones. For the last 20 years, I have helped clients plan for their “golden years” and how they will address the issues of aging and remaining independent.

Here are the five steps that you can take now to get prepared:

Step 1 – Get Organized.

Before attempting to discuss financial, tax and estate planning issues with your loved ones, be sure to sit down with a financial advisor and get your own life plan in order.

Step 2 – Initiate “The Discovery Conversation” with Your Loved Ones. O

ne way to initiate this conversation with your loved ones is to ask them what they would do if something happened to you. Do they know who your advisors are, where your documents are, your doctors, etc? This may help lead the conversation into what your role would be for them. Are you needed as a care giver, a trustee, a personal representative and who else would be involved? Knowing this up front, will help you plan for your own future.

Step 3 – Start Planning as Early as Possible.

Don’t wait until the unexpected happens. It’s never too early to start planning for the unexpected. Meeting with an attorney, financial planner and insurance agent to create the proper planning may be all it takes to make sure your needs are met. Planning early when your have the most options makes sense – being proactive rather than reactive.

Step 4 – Consider Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance.

Start the conversation when your parents or loved ones are young and healthy and then suggest that they apply for long term care insurance as early as possible. We are living much longer and the need for healthcare and related services is exploding. In fact, seriously consider purchasing your own policy now while YOU are still healthy and the premiums are affordable!

Step 5 – Create a Team of Trusted Advisors.

This is not the time for-do-it-yourself-planning. Find a “key advisor” who is an eldercare expert and have this individual manage the team with you based on your loved ones goals, values and objectives. The final product should enable your loved ones to maintain their dignity, lifestyle and assets. It should also meet the needs of the caregiver. The end result; everyone involved should be able to sleep better at night knowing all concerns have been addressed and that a team and a plan is in place to meet the unexpected.



Katana Abbott is a certified financial planner who built a $100 million investment management and financial planning practice over 20 years and recently retired to follow her dream – The Designated Daughter Program™ and Smart Women’s Coaching™. Visit http://www.smartwomenscoaching.com/ to sign up for her monthly newsletter and be invited to events, workshops and tele-classes.




Hospice, Funerals, Cremation and Saying Goodbye

Hospice, Funerals, Cremation and Saying Goodbye

My Godmother, Dad, Uncle George (poet) us kid in Italy 1960

My Godmother, Dad, Uncle George (poet) us kid in Italy 1960

My mother was diagnosed with Dementia in May 2006 while my step-father was dying of lung cancer.  Hospice was our saving grace.  I had no idea how wonderful their support and advise would be during Dad’s last few months of death.  He died on my birthday, October 24, 2006.

My mother lived at Sunrise Assisted Living and enjoyed her life very much.  In fact, I just received a copy of the last letter her friend, Norio, of Japan received from her.  Here is a quote from her note, “I don’t have much to say since I don’t do anything except play cards anymore.  I hope you are enjoying every day of life.  I sure am.”

On December 8th, 2009, Hospice was called in to help my mother since her health had deteriated so bad.  I knew the routine and went through mourning on my way home from her place that day.  Between Hospice and Sunrise her last month was very pleasant and I enjoyed every moment with her.  She passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 14th.  I had a traditional funeral with a cremation immediately following the service.  I was told that 50% of families are now choosing cremation.

Since my mom’s name is Rose, I am planting a gorgeous Rose Garden with her ashes this spring right in the middle of our circular brick paver drive.  There is a huge stone there already, so I will have it inscribed with her name.

After the service, my loved ones and I had the pleasure of going through the dozens of photo albums, scrapbooks, and letters she and my father exchanged when he first went into the army.  I also came across a stack of poems written by my godmother’s husband, George Richardson, a distinquished poet and one of her best friends since high school.  I would like to share it with you now…I promise you will read it twice and it will bring tears to your eyes…

My dear I lay awake last nigh
Till you were by my side –
The lights were out, the dog was gone
My God I almost cried
I heard your voice as you came in
The first time late for bed –
I thought at first it may bave been
Just something I had said
Twas then I made my mind up dear
I’d be a better mate –
And rid myself of all the doubt
The years of jealous hate
And as you stood beside my love
The scent, it filled the room –
So like the smell that meant so much
When we first bride and groom
The song you picked to play that night
My eyes I kept them shut –
How wrong I’d been through all these years
Within my stubborn rut
I tried to raise my hand to you
With ring that we had wed-
But that’s when you apologized
For all that you had said
I guess that’s when I first felt good
Our friends were all around –
I knew I couldn’t reach you now
And Where that I was bound
The kiss you placed upon my lips
AS though it dealt by fate –
Within my coffin I did lay
Your kiss was two days late

~George Richardson


katana crtKatana helps women ages 43-60 create lives of abundance, joy and financial freedom while following their passions.  She is a Certified Financial Planner and Caregiving Expert.  You can contact her at katana@designateddaughter.com
Read more here:
Hospice, Funerals, Cremation and Saying Goodbye

Hospice offers a helping hand:  Saying Goodbye to Mom

Hospice offers a helping hand: Saying Goodbye to Mom

Mom’s art show at Sunrise Assisted Living My mother has been in Hospice since the first of December.  She suffers from Dementia which is a brain disease.  I just got off the phone with a relative, and he couldn’t understand why Dementia is causing her decline since is seems like a simple brain or memory loss issue.  It’s not though.  Since she was diagnosed, she has slowly been declining in all areas of her life. I remember taking her to Fitness 19 to work with a trainer last year, and she told me that mom’s muscles were no longer firing…and she just could not seem to get the rhythm of the treadmill together. Last summer, she was still taking long walks with me and working in the garden and even playing pool with my husband when she began to experience a serious decline.  It may have been the change in her medications after her last visit to the neurologist…I have racked my brain over this.

Read more here:
Hospice offers a helping hand: Saying Goodbye to Mom

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