Hope for living, loving and caring with no regrets!

Benefits of Day Stay Programs

Episode 54

Rayna Neises, ACC, host, and Karen Weaver, PCC, co-host, reflect on last week’s interview with Catherine Hodder, Esq. who shared her estate planning expertise. Additional insights discussed:

    • By first completing your estate planning, you can frame the conversation by sharing your experience vs. just telling your parents what to do.
    • It is important to know that the person selected to serve as Medical Power of Attorney understands what you want, what is important to you, and that you can trust them to follow through with your wishes.
    • You have to keep revising your documents to make sure that they are as up-to-date as possible.  
    • Asking questions is powerful and asking them in an ongoing conversation over time is critical.
    • A reality check can help because the finances may not always match up with the desires.
    • Having conversations ahead of time can help avoid the fights and items can go to people who will appreciate and value them.
    • Taking the time to create the binder of information can be the greatest gift that you give.

Transcript

*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation

Rayna Neises: 

Welcome to A Season of Caring Podcast where there’s hope for living, loving, and caring with no regrets. This is Rayna Neises, your host and Karen Weaver, your cohost. And today we’re going to be revisiting our podcasts with Catherine Hodder, where she made it a point to let us know that estate planning is not just for when you die.

Karen Weaver: 

I am looking forward to this conversation. I love talking about estate planning.

Rayna Neises: 

Well, you were unusual in that way. Most people don’t want to talk about it.

Karen Weaver: 

Well, that’s true. It’s hard to get people to talk about it, especially when we get to that season in life, where it is so important to start having those conversations in order to prepare yourself and prepare the loved ones. I can see how the conversation can be very helpful to anyone who’s a caregiver. Because it’s something that has to be addressed sooner or later. Yeah.

Rayna Neises: 

Yeah. If we don’t talk about it, then we’re just walking in the dark.

Karen Weaver: 

Right. Absolutely. And I thought it was really neat how, she has the lawyer background, but she also comes with experience as a caregiver to her father. And so She has a true understanding of how her expertise can really support caregivers. And I just thought that was pretty nice. And I love the conversation about the sandwich generation, can so relate to that. And I don’t know if she was talking about the adult children taking care of the children and parents, but I was thinking, especially in the African-American community, we have a lot of adults who are taking care of their grandchildren, so it really has become a huge piece the identity of our community, for sure.

Rayna Neises: 

That sandwich can look a lot of different ways because sometimes people are caring for maybe a sibling, but you definitely find where that pressure comes from both directions of needing to care for more than one person. She herself was in that sandwich generation so she definitely has a passion for, just speaking to people who are there and making sure that they understand that there’s challenges that are unique to having both people needing them at the same time.

Karen Weaver: 

Absolutely. And as you mentioned in your interview with her, that many people just get so overwhelmed, just thinking about the topic. I mean there’s so much to do as a caregiver and you actually want me to do some planning and put some legal documents in place for the future. With regards to what might happen. I mean, it, it’s a lot to think about. It really is a lot to think about, but I think the advice from her was right on target that it really serves you well, if you get your own house in order. Because if you get your own house in order being able to Relate to someone else and have the conversation based on what you’ve actually done yourself. So you’re not just telling someone, this is what you should do. You’re actually coming from a posture of, this is what I’ve done. What are you thinking about in terms of your own situation?

Rayna Neises: 

It always helps to be able to walk it first. First of all, you know what questions to ask when you’ve been through it yourself and then also it does just make it a more natural, easy conversation with your loved one, to be able to say, this is what I did, and be able to, to know a little bit more so that you can help them. It is confusing. It is difficult to know who to talk to. And each person like doctors, oftentimes lawyers, all have their own opinion about how to go about it and what things are more important than others so I think it is helpful just to have a firsthand knowledge.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah, absolutely. And when she was talking about the the Power of a Attorney, it made me think back to when my dad first started showing signs of memory loss. I ended up taking off work about two weeks and just spent the two weeks walking through the process of what we needed to get in place while he was able to have legal conversations. I only did like one thing every day so like one day you would go to one bank. And then the next day we would go to another bank and I’d take them out to lunch. It was a process, but I don’t even know what made me just move so quickly, but there was something that I sense that, this is something you have to take care of now. You can’t wait because I really wasn’t sure of what his memory issues were going to mean for us in the future.

Rayna Neises: 

We had a little different experience in that because my mom was so young when she was diagnosed, my dad got their things in order at that point. He put my sister and I both on the checking account right away, because he wanted to make sure that if he was in an accident, we could take care of my mom. So not only did he need to make sure she was taken care of, but then he made sure his things were taken care of and had those meetings and conversations with us. I’m going to make Robin the DPOA and those kinds of things that we had to have those conversations. And so with his diagnosis, his ducks were in a row, but we again went back and reviewed those things and talked about the financial implications of that. So I do think it’s so important and I think she made a really good point oftentimes when people have young children, they think, Oh, I need to make sure that I have it taken care of then, but there’s this whole stretch of life that if you don’t revisit it, things change. Aly and I did a podcast with an author who was talking about this topic as well. And I love the point that she made. She said, you need to make sure that your medical power of attorney is a person who’s going to be able to make the hard decisions.

Karen Weaver: 

Hmm.

Rayna Neises: 

And I had never really thought of it in that way, because I might not be the right person to pull the plug

Karen Weaver: 

Right.

Rayna Neises: 

Just because I live right next door, just because I’m really close by. It doesn’t mean I might have the courage, to go ahead and follow through, even if I know that’s your wishes. So it is so important to have those conversations and really know that the people understand what you want and what’s important to you and you can truly trust them to follow through with your wishes.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah. Yeah, no, I can so relate I wasn’t fortunate enough to have parents that were willing to have those conversations. So I was kind of walking blindly most of the time. But I can certainly say that being on this journey with my dad, it has prompted me to be very proactive about getting my paperwork in order. I have regular conversations with my oldest son. And he has all the documents and we have a set here and he has said that his house, and we’re constantly in conversation as things change, because like you said, nothing stays the same. You have to keep revisiting documents to make sure that they are as up-to-date as possible.

Rayna Neises: 

And I shared with Catherine, I went through a life-threatening situation and as a single person, I wasn’t thinking it was that important. I was in my early thirties and had a basic reconstruction on my knee and nothing went wrong until it did. And that was definitely a wake-up call that no matter your age, it really is something you need to have in line. And I really liked that she also brought up the fact that with HIPAA laws, 18 year olds, you have to have that paperwork in order for you to be able to talk to the doctors and talk to anybody in their life that you need to get information from. So I thought that was such a great point as well.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah. And people don’t think about that. I have one son who is single, and so I’m always after him about paperwork because I told him, I said, you don’t have a wife. You don’t, I mean you, if something happens we are the backup plan. So we need to be in conversation as to what you have, what you don’t have, what you need to have in place, so that we can make sure we’re prepared if anything shifts for us. And especially when I think about my own husband becoming disabled at 39. I mean, that’s not something you think about, you plan for or you even expect, that your 39 year old husband would have a massive stroke and it would change the course of his life, in the blink of an eye. But she did a great job talking about key conversations. And questions, the power of questions. Of course, as coaches, we can relate to just how powerful questions will be. Who would pay the bills if you can’t? What do you want a your care look like? I mean, I need to know what you want. So I, I just thought it was a very nice way just saying that you have to have the conversations. But it’s not all at once. It’s over time. It’s like an ongoing conversation that you have in you introduce and revisit in a way that people can start to reflect themselves and see the importance of it. Not only for them but for those who will be left to serve as their advocate.

Rayna Neises: 

The time allows us to process and to really think through what do we want, and make sure that we’ve communicated that clearly. And then as we’ve also said, the time helps you know, that when things change you’re going to have another conversation and just even understanding at what points, if you’re looking at, I think I’d like to retire and I’d like to move somewhere else, or I’d like to live in a retirement community. When? What happens if something changes with your health? Are going to look at doing something different? It just changes a lot and the more you talk about it, the more, you know, a little bit more about what those ebbs and flows are going to look like or what that number one, I need to think about it. Number two, I need to make sure I’ve talked about it and that I’m willing to do those things once the time comes.

Karen Weaver: 

Right, right. Absolutely. But of course the conversation that I really enjoyed hearing her talk about was the legacy conversation. And I don’t know about you, but we have missed that greatly. Labeling pictures and I have boxes of pictures and I have no idea who the people are or where they are. Then you talked to her a little bit about capturing recipes from your mom and things like that, recipes that are in people’s heads, not actually written down. So Something most people are not thinking about. Certainly. I think for those who are listening, this could be a great way to start doing some things that you might not otherwise be able to capture.

Rayna Neises: 

I agree. when we sold my dad’s house, which was actually two years ago this week, we found a strong box in the basement and we were digging through and looking and we’re like, wow, I don’t, whose is this? We found a purple heart. We found a flag and we’ve asked around a family members that are left and no one knows whose purple heart it is. We did finally find other things within the strongbox that we found that it actually belonged to my great aunt’s husband, a lot of letters to her. And their items that she’s been gone for quite a while now. So dad had helped clean out her house. And so her things were there, but we never did figure out as far as we know, he never had a purple heart. So we don’t know if it’s someone else from her family or his family, or we don’t know where the purple heart came from. It is sad. Time, it just goes, it goes so quickly when we aren’t paying attention and so slow when we’re trying to right?.

Karen Weaver: 

Absolutely. I can agree with that. I can absollutely agree with that. I was very appreciative of the fact that she took the time to just talk about the reality check. That sometimes our parents, or we may have wishes or desires, but what is the reality when looking at the finances of a family? It may not always match up with what one desires. That is something to really take into consideration and really be open and honest about. How to make these things happen, but sometimes you really can’t make them happen.

Rayna Neises: 

For sure. Just exploring your options, I have friends that are concerned about their parents and knowing that their aging’s coming, but they haven’t started making any phone calls to figure out exactly how much is that place that’s just down the road that I’m thinking would be a great place to put them, you know? And I always encourage go ahead and just call, you never know, you just need to find out at least today, that’s what the price will be. And what benefits do they have? Do you know what benefits they have? Making sure that you understand, if they’re a veteran, what the VA benefits look like, what they will cover. As far as locations, my dad was a veteran. But the closest facility was 45 minutes away. So just knowing your options really can make a big difference. I think it also is very important to communicate those things to your loved one. If they can’t get out and see what the places are like, or they can still look at pictures and understand prices and understand, you know, that it’s not that you’re being mean, but the finances aren’t there to do what they’re asking. Same thing for in-home care. A lot of people ask to stay at home and that’s a great request, but in home care is not cheap. And so understanding what that looks like to do 24 seven in-home care or whatever it is they’re going to need eventually, has to look a little different if you don’t have the finances.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah, absolutely. And I thought it was nice how she mentioned that, sometimes people don’t know what they want, but they may know what they don’t want. And I think that is helpful in itself because it’s true many people have not really thought it through, but they’ve probably can tell you exactly what they don’t want to happen with age when they get of age and are unable to just navigate the house and meals and things by themselves. And of course that little note about this is not a time to talk about who’s going to get to China. I relate to that because I going to tell you, I remember those conversations at my grand parent’s house. Worried about who is going to get the little cup of the little, whatever the brush or the whatever after my grandmother transitioned and it was a big deal. So certainly that was not a convensation that you want to have in the midst of trying to get some paperwork in place or their care.

Rayna Neises: 

Yeah. So you have your estates and then, and that’s part of your estate. So it does need to be a conversation, especially, I think it’s important if there’s something that you would like to have, that you have that conversation early on so that it can be something that they consider and that you talk to other family members about because the last thing you want is for it to be something that people fight over, which so many times it is, but it has to be a separate conversation because taking care of medical needs and having finances to take care of them while they’re still here has to be a priority. So getting in the midst of an argument over the China is not going to be helpful. So save that for another time, but I say have the conversations because they’re so important. It does matter. Some people are more sentimental about those things and it makes a difference to them. So. I’ve often said, I want to be able to give things away while it’s still my choice. So I would like to be able to say to my granddaughter, if you really like this, take it.

Karen Weaver: 

That’s where I am. And my husband doesn’t agree with me because I’m the kind of person, if somebody comes and they say they like something, I will take it off the wall. I will hand it to them and I will say go forth and do great things. And he’s like, we’re not finished with that yet. And I’m like, it’s fine. This person really wants it. And it’s nice to be able to give somebody something. But then, you know somebody has it who really wants it and appreciates the value of it. So, and of course the idea of making a binder was definitely one of the highlights of her talk and I thought it was great that she actually had a website where people could get forms and things to actually start to put together that biner. I was, so it was a story about a a man whose father had passed and his father had left him the binder, the binder had a letter and the binder had everything in it he needed and how he talked about it was like the greatest gift his father could have ever left him when he transitioned.

Rayna Neises: 

Yeah, I think it’s so important to have it in one place. Life gets crazy. And again, as we said, time passes and sometimes we get new life insurance or we get new policies of some type, make new purchases. And we don’t always remember to update where it is located. So make sure it’s in one location and easily accessible. Making sure that if you have a safe, that someone knows the combinations so that they’re able to access that information as they need to. And that it isn’t a safe place. We’ve lived through a house fire, so we know that you can lose things. So you said you have one for your son and one at your home, at least make sure that you’ve done that so that people have access to it in case there’s a flood or a fire or something like that.

Karen Weaver: 

Right. Absolutely. Yeah. So great conversation.

Rayna Neises: 

Definitely, you can visit Catherine’s website to check out those forms she has available at www.hodderink.com and also her book has lots of great information as well. So just like to encourage you, as you’re thinking through these things, if you need some conversation starters, more information in her book with lots of ideas for you to follow through with getting your estate in order both for you and for the person that you’re caring for. Thank you for joining us today on A Season of Caring Podcast. This podcast is created for the encouragement of family caregivers. If you have medical, financial, or legal questions, please contact your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring.

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Meet Your Hosts

Rayna Neises and Karen Weaver

Rayna Neises, ACC

Your Host

An ICF Certified Coach, Author of No Regrets:  Hope for Your Caregiving Season, Podcaster, & Speaker, offering encouragement, support, and resources to those who are in a Season of Caring for Aging Parents.

Her passion is for those caring and their parents, that they might be seen, not forgotten & cared for, not neglected.

Karen Weaver, PCC

Your Co-Host

An ICF Certified Coach, Author, and Caregiver Advocate offers a safe space for self-discovery and self-reflection through career and life coaching.

Her passion is to support and empower those navigating change from a holistic perspective.  

Visit Karen's Website

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4 Things you need to know as you begin your season of caring

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