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” (“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…)
As 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.
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
Katana 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hospice, Funerals, Cremation and Saying Goodbye
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.
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Hospice offers a helping hand: Saying Goodbye to Mom
On Monday this week, Seasons Hospice came to my home to complete the paperwork to have my mom entered into their Hospice program. Although I used Hospice for my step father in 2006, I received a new insight from this meeting. These are the most wonderful and kind folks and they offer such an amazing service. I remember when the doctor recommended Hospice for my step father when he was diagnosed with lung cancer at 86, I actually got mad thinking “I wasn’t going to let him die”. So I held off contacting them until it was really ‘urgent’ that we get some help. Had I known how much support, education and services they offer, I would have been grateful to call them for my step father and then received support and guidance for the last full year of his life. My mom is now in the last stages of her disease (Dementia) and is no longer walking, transferring or able to feed herself. She is on oxygen and they have just started morphine for pain. She is becoming very “stiff” it seems and it’s hard for her to move anymore. Yesterday, my daughters and I spent time together with her going through one of her photo albums that documented her pictures during her school years, plus all her class reunions. She has created over 40 photo albums and has documented every event during her life. This is a wonderful gift she is leaving all of us. I am so glad that we took care of all her planning years ago by creating wills, trusts, power of attorney and long term care insurance for her and dad back when there were lots of options. This has allowed me to focus on mom and dad’s quality of life and quality of care these last couple of years. Feel free to download the free Caregiver’s Manual that I created to help you prepare for caring for your loved ones. I have used this process for years working with hundreds of clients and thank goodness I followed this process with my folks to. It’s been a blessing. I am off to help mom with her dinner. Take care. If you have questions about caregiving, financial planning or estate planning, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
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Meeting with Hospice