Do you know where your loved one's life insurance policy is kept? Or if they even have one. Is the insurance accidental, term, or whole life insurance? What is the payoff amount upon death? Do you have any idea of the cost of a funeral? Can you provide medical information to healthcare providers about your loved ones' medications, allergies, and medical history in an emergency? What services are covered under their health insurance? Do they have a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, or Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)? If you answered no to any of the above questions, it is time for the family meeting.
There is no set time or age to express your wishes to your family. Life is unpredictable and can be taken away at any age or time. During a family meeting, I was informed that my daughter wanted to donate all her organs upon passing. It was not easy thinking about the possibility of my 38 years old daughter passing. However, I felt at ease knowing her wishes and that she had completed a Health Care Proxy. As a caregiver, it is essential that you are aware of all the necessary medical and personal information of the person you are caring for to manage their care successfully. If the information is not in your presence, you should know where to locate it when needed.
I know your struggles getting vital information from an elderly loved one or parent. It is the world's best-kept secret. As we age, we lose our independence, friends, family members, spouse, health, and youth. Therefore, it may seem like the only thing left to hold on to is our money and possessions. I am sure you have heard some of these remarks before. "Why are you trying to get into my business? Are you trying to kill me? I am not going anywhere; we have time to talk about that; do we have to talk about this now? Why do you always want to talk about things like that? I have everything in order".
Maybe we should begin to talk about "things like this" at any time and stage of our lives. I have realized that we all will go through difficult times in our lives, and some of our difficulties will be encountered gradually, unexpectedly, and suddenly. We work hard to accomplish "things" (property, money, and other possessions) and forget it is not just about us. Do not wait for a crisis to make major decisions. Get things together for your loved one and yourself. Contact COME to schedule a Caregivers Consultation for you and your loved one.