Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years
Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years)
One-third of today’s 65 year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years
Having a will and medical directives or even long-term care insurance won’t guarantee that the individual(s) who would step in to advocate for you will know about your medical history, your bills, your home improvements, your tax preparer or even your pets care needs. You want someone to be your advocate should you be facing a medical crisis or long-term care needs.
I vividly remember my husband once accusing me of being just like my Mom when we were in a disagreement. He knew quickly afterward that it was one of the meanest things he could say to me and has never repeated it in a derogatory manner. I think every daughter has some of this baggage. My Mom did a million wonderful things, but for some deep psychological reason, when used as a slight, there are some things about our Mom that we vowed we wouldn’t become I suppose.
I know my Mom never wanted to be in this place, in a wheelchair, with little memory, and an inability to do most things for herself. As a caregiver, I wonder how to avoid the fate of my parents.
I was encouraged by Dr. Oz when I appeared on the show, and have read many articles that equate dementia more to lifestyle than to heredity. One of the coolest things about the show was meeting Dr. Cynthia Greene who was the expert during my segment. She founded Total Brain Health that offers brain fitness toolkits for senior care, healthcare and fitness settings. She also is the author of Your Best Brain Everthat was named a “2013 Top Guide to Life After 50” by The Wall Street Journal. She, along with Dr. Oz encourage fish oil supplements, which I was doing before, but has now become a daily habit.
The major things I have done to help my loved ones if any illness or disability strikes is to complete my estate plans, written down my answers to The Conversation Project questionnaire, and continue to use MemoryBanc to organize our documents, accounts, and assets. Together, these will give my loved ones a treasure map on how to manage and follow my wishes should they need to step in and help me.
I was the adult child named on the Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) that needed to step in and use it. It was VERY difficult to use in several cases. For a more detailed look at my history, you can visit the blog I’ve been writing for three years on caring for two parents. One way to ensure that the individual you have named with this power can help you is to create a roadmap of the documents, accounts, and assets they may need to manage until you are back on your feet, or inevitably, to settle your estate.
My parents did everything that was recommended by their estate lawyer, financial planner and life insurance provider. However, they prepared most of the information to be delivered to me after they were gone. When they were too ill to manage on their own, I needed to know about their medical history, banking accounts, online services, household warranties … the list was daunting.
For an easy to use workbook that will guide you through the collection of your documents, accounts, and assets so that you can easily find the information when it’s needed, or could share it in a crisis, you can order MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life from any of these popular retailers at a pre-release discount today.
We all know that we should plan for future life-changing events, but it’s one of the first things we put on the back burner. We have a million excuses, and have learned that procrastination does not work, but there are some things we just never make time to complete.
Having a system that documents your passcodes, inventories your assets and provides a health biography will not only provide you with quick access to information when you need it, but also can provide a roadmap to the individual that would step in and help you—even if only temporarily—should you need it.
For all these reasons, documenting your life details and putting them in a format that makes it easier for you to retrieve and that someone else can access is important. It matters the most to those people around you whom you love and would be negatively impacted by your failure to simply document basic details.