Planning Ahead

Ten years ago, as part of the sandwich generation, I wanted to understand how to care for my aging parents while providing support to my sons and their young families.

I became a care consultant for elder care services.

Working with change: Keep a good attitude. For many, change is scary. A life-altering event made me look at where my life was heading. Eight years ago I was diagnosed with an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Planning ahead: To assist both the sandwich generation and their aging parents, I created a guide that shares what I have learned about elder care services with the hope to give you a better understanding of the various services available to you.

Keeping a Positive Attitude

Whether you are a senior or an adult child, stress can add to the daily struggles. I wish these strategies were my creation. There are many professionals in the field of stress management who live by these strategies.

Strategies for Effective Stress Management 

  1. Organize Yourself – Take better control of the way you’re spending your time and energy so you can handle stress more effectively.
  2. Control Your Environment by controlling who and what is surrounding you. In this way, you can either get rid of stress or get support for yourself.
  3. Love Yourself by giving yourself positive feedback.
  4. Reward Yourself by planning leisure activities into your life.
  5. Rest Yourself as regularly as possible.


Family Planning for the Future 

Unfortunately, most of those who do plan treat it as a one-time event. We must review and update our documents and plans on a regular basis.

It makes little difference whether you’re young, old, rich or not so rich. The fact is most people just don’t finish what they start when it comes to planning.

The Planning Process

When asked if parents organized, updated and informed their adult children of their plans, the response was almost always a loud “no”. We spend a lifetime building our careers, creating wealth and dreaming of the day that our hard work will pay off. It would be a shame to see this diminished because we failed to prepare! I often hear, “I don’t know where to start”.

You do have a family document file, don’t you? No? We have a lot of work to do! I must admit the planning and organizing process can be overwhelming at first. However, taking the time to plan now will provide tremendous peace of mind for you and your loved ones in the future.

Planning Steps

Most of us can relate to not wanting to deal with issues related to aging until the last minute. Fortunately, there are solutions that can be implemented fairly simply.

  • Learn what you need to plan for. Every other area of your life has been planned for – you can’t afford to leave out your future.
  • What if something was to prevent you from working, how will your normal household bills be paid?
  • What about the unexpected bills: Medical, big repairs, legal bills?
  • Who will take care of the children if you are not able to be independent?
  • How much income will you need at retirement to live your dreams?
  • Does your financial plan fit your risk tolerance profile?
  • Do you have a living will that instruct your doctors what medical care you want in the event of disability?
  • Seek professional advice. Once you have decided where you want to go, get some help.
  • You. the first time. The key here is to just get started.
  • Review your plan on a regular basis. formation is located. Provide a copy for their files.

Talk to an Elder Care Attorney 

Elder care attorneys keep up with the constant changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and tax laws. One of my clients expressed concerns about information provided by an elder attorney she did not know. This particular attorney gave her “cookbook” advice. My client told me she felt uncomfortable with the “cookbook” approach. Get a second opinion before contracting with an elder attorney.

Here is a simple list of issues you may want to discuss with your elder care attorney:

  • Quality of Care and Life.
  • Asset preservation planning for singles and married couples, helping to defray nursing home and other related care costs
  • Medicaid eligibility planning
  • Medicare applications and appeals
  • Social security & disability claims and appeals
  • Living trusts for financial management, probate avoidance and testamentary disposition
  • Probate matters
  • Conservatorship
  • Guardianship
  • Estate Planning

Before you hire an Elder Care Attorney, here are some questions you may want to ask during your initial consultation:

  • What particular area(s) of law does your practice emphasize?
  • How long have you been in this field?
  • What percentage of your practice is devoted to elder law?
  • Given the nature of my problem, what information should I bring to the initial consultation?
  • Is there a fee for the first consultation and if so, how much is it?
  • What is your hourly fee and how do you round consultation time?
  • Must I come to your office or can we transact business by email, Fax and telephone?
  • If a trial is involved, who does the trial work? How many trials have you handled?
  • Can you give me an estimate of cost to resolve my problem and time it will take?
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