• A few days ago I met up with Sophie, a woman about my age who contacted me recently through an on-line search.

    Sophie recently came back to NYC from the West Coast to care for her mother, whose Dementia has been deteriorating for the last few years.

    Sophie’s parents fight incessantly, as they have their entire marriage. While they’re not completely in denial about the Dementia, they refuse to take any steps to plan for its consequences, such as initiating legal and financial planning or considering alternative living arrangements.

    Sophie is an only child. She has put her life on hold to try to be a responsible daughter, but feels like her parents are making it impossible. When she threatens to give up and head back home, her mother becomes anxious and clingy.  She feels completely stuck.

    While she has started taking advantage caregiver resources, such as the array of workshops and support groups at the NYC Branch of the Alzheimer’s Association, she feels like every step forward comes with two steps back.

    She said a workshop on legal & financial planning she recently attended felt like a whirlwind, covering everything from Powers of Attorney to Health Care Proxies to Long-Term Care Insurance to Joint Bank Accounts to Guardianship to Medicaid Eligibility. Each seemed to represent days of legwork and stacks of potential legal bills.  She was left treading water, still wondering where to begin.

    Most experts agree to start with the low-hanging fruit: documents that can be prepared easily, even without hiring an attorney, and can have life-changing impact for patients and caregivers alike. The two lowest hanging fruits are Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives (which include Health Care Proxies).

    Here are some links:

    Power of Attorney Links from one of our favorite sites, Elderlawanswers.com:

    Overview of types of POAs

    Legal Zoom Template (please note we are not vouching for this service!)

    More Estate Planning Links & Resources

    Advance Directives & Health Care Proxies

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    This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 2:50 pm and is filed under Communication & Planning, Stories & Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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