Roll The Dice
A few weeks ago, my husband and I went out of town for a few days and left our son in the care of his parents. I’d never been away from my son overnight before, and even though I was so ready to get away for a few days, I had to prepare for this trip emotionally and logistically. Emotionally, I talked with my little one about him getting to have special time with Papa and Nana, and we discussed that I’d be away for a few days. I’d miss him and he’d miss me, but we’d still have fun. Logistically, I wrote out some information that (I hoped) would be helpful for my parents-in-law: our daily routine, fun places to go, food likes/dislikes, favorite songs and activities, etc. All that was fine, but my mother-in-law actually reminded me to do something I hadn’t even considered: draft and sign a medical release form, which would grant them permission to make medical decisions on behalf of our son while my husband and I were away. It made perfect sense, but since my husband and I had never both been away from our son for an extended period of time, I’d never considered it. It was an important part of equipping my parents-in-law with all they’d need to take good care of my little boy while I was gone. I downloaded a form, entered all the pertinent information, had my husband sign the document, and then had two other witnesses sign it. It was a bit of an inconvenience, but in the end, it gave me peace of mind, knowing that my little one would receive the care he’d need if necessary.
How does this relate to senior care? Well, sometimes we’re just so busy with our day-to-day life that we don’t stop to consider contingency plans or preparing for those situations that we hope might never come. Yet, realistically, we’re all getting older – as are our parents and other loved ones – and it’s just part of basic “adulting” to put certain plans in place for the future. Now, I’m certainly no poster child for getting my ducks in a row right away. My husband and I were married for 13 years before we created an estate plan (trust, will, and advance directives), and it was only after our son turned one that we realized that we needed to just set aside the time and money to GET IT DONE. It wasn’t fun or easy, but we knew we had to do it. Though we hope and pray that we’ll be around to raise our little guy, my husband and I knew that it was simply the responsible thing to make a plan – just in case. While I was on my trip, I saw a billboard that said, “Rolling the dice isn’t a plan.” It made me think of the planning we’d done, and I was grateful that my husband and I had taken the time to do more than just count on good luck.
Same goes for senior care, especially since odds are that something WILL go wrong eventually. We need to make a plan for ourselves, even though we expect, hope, and pray that we’ll be around for decades to come. We need to empower and equip the ones around us to deal with the logistics of making difficult decisions on our behalf so they can also deal with the emotional part of care. Sometimes senior care planning isn’t even about us; it’s about caring for our loved ones enough that we set aside the time, money, and mind space to create a plan so they don’t have to just hope and pray they are making good decisions on our behalf. We’re smarter than that, and we can handle a few hours of “adulting” to get some of these things done. The best benefit of putting in the work? Peace of mind.
Or go ahead and roll the dice.
If you want to learn more about creating a plan for yourself or a loved one, we can help. Contact us at 310.405.0885 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.