Yesterday I did an interview with radio host Kevin Price. While I started on this journey as an adult child dealing with two parents who have dementia — I’ve learned the larger issue I face has no relationship to dementia at all.
My parents had a will, medical directives and even gave me a durable power of attorney, those things did not help when I needed to manage their medical appointments, bills and cash flow.
I know that every second in the U.S. someone is disabled. If you were even temporarily disabled, would your loved ones have what they need to be able to step in and help you?
My parents were sure they were covered and they would not put us in the same situation they faced with their parents. However, I don’t think they imagined that they would both lose their short-term memory and be unable to even fill in or answer basic questions about their finances, medical history or household.
This could have been any of a myriad of issues. A few months ago a former colleague’s wife (age 43) had a stroke and was unresponsive the first month in the hospital. On top of the stress of his concern for his wife, he also faced the reality that he didn’t have all online banking details that would have made it very easy for him to fill in as she recovered.
Check out the short list of the basic personal details I shared with Kevin that you should document for your family — it’s the kindest thing you could do. Prepared.