Archive for September, 2014

A Reader’s Response to “Taking the Car Keys & Other Indignities”, from this eNewsletter 8/2014 Issue

September 30, 2014

I must have tapped deeply into the well of common experience. The following unedited response was received from a highly-respected financial services professional who, like many of us, has had to deal with the realities of aging parents. The response is reprinted with permission. In respect for the responding reader’s privacy, his/her name has been omitted.

“I’ve done some things well and some things horribly, some effectively and some not so. I had to deal with a senile mother-in-law for 25 years and sometimes didn’t take her dignity into account enough because I was young or didn’t realize her perspective but in the end, she lived to 97 and I made sure that she was well-taken care of when she was on my watch. She must have forgotten that she had been angry with me for a short time because she loved me and respected me, even after I had to set a few ground rules around her behavior. My ex even called me for help when she was in hospice and I brought the girls to NYC and we all buried her together.”

“What helped me the most was that I had an excellent dialogue with her caregiver, her doctor and the help of a professional social worker. Everything had to be accomplished by phone because we didn’t live nearby but they really helped. What I learned was, besides broaching subjects with special attention to her dignity, was to make sure that the caregiver was taken care of. I saw this with my father as well, who ended up quite dependent in a wheelchair for the last 5 years of his life. There wasn’t a lot I could do for my father — the nurses took care of that — I had to show up for hi, but I had to make sure that my mother felt supported.”

“Thank you for getting this dialogue started. It could be a useful piece of doing our Estate Planning as we age.”

For those of you who have read this far (and how could you not?), I pose the following questions:
1. Looking back, are you comfortable with the support you provided parents and other loved ones when they most needed it?
2. Recognizing that hindsight is 20/20, what would you have done differently?
3. What are your wishes for yourself as you age? How do you want to be treated when you can no longer do all the things you can today?
4. Have you had this conversation with your children?

Disclaimer: This eNewsletter and all links to other sources should not be construed as tax or legal advice because they are neither. Raymond Smith, The Long Term Care Specialist, does not give legal or tax advice. Consult your attorney or tax advisor for these matters.

© Raymond Smith, The Long Term Care Specialist, 2014