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06/04/2012 - President's Message May/June

The phone rings.  A panicked client begins to tell you that her parents need to be placed into a facility because they can no longer take care of themselves.  If something isnít done soon, DCF is going to step in and take over; this is going to "killĒ her parents because they wanted to stay in their home; they canít afford 24/7 care; the list goes on.  After youíve calmed your client down, the million dollar question is asked:  "What do I do?Ē

What do I do?  Tough question.  It is also one Iíve been asking myself a lot lately.  Iíve spent most of April and May looking at assisted living facilities for my in-laws.  What facility will meet their needs? Be a good fit for them?  Provide additional care if needed?  If the Alzheimerís gets worse, is there a unit at the facility that my mother-in-law can be moved to?  Are meals, light house-keeping, help with medications included?  Is this part of a concierge service?  Can they afford the cost?  What assets are available to sell and be used for their care?  What, if any, type of estate planning did they do?  Am I doing the right thing?  Will I ever stop waking up at some early hour?

Head spinning yet?  These and myriads of other questions have been going through my head since this journey began.   It hasnít been easy.  Fortunately, my in-laws are in a very nice assisted living facility that meets their needs, has a unit that my mother-in-law can be placed if the Alzheimerís gets worth, and for us, is right behind a hospital if there is a medical emergency.
I think the most important thing Iíve learned from this experience is how immense the responsibility is to find the proper care for the people I love and care about.   It has helped me understand better what my clients are going through when they call looking for help.

The next time your phone rings and itís a panicked client, remember to take a step back and let her get whatever it is out on the table.  Then begin the journey with her.  I guarantee it will be a journey worth taking.