Debbie turned the ringing alarm off. It was 6:00AM and time to get herself ready for the day. Her son would be there soon to help her shower and dress her husband, Jim. Her son came every day before work to help because Debbie, at 75 years old and suffering with arthritis, could not lift Jim out of bed or help him to the shower. This has been the daily routine since Jim’s stroke a year ago. When her son leaves for work, Debbie spends the day caring for Jim’s needs.
That old holiday song is coming around again, and so it is time again for some thoughts on visiting with elderly parents or grandparents. Enjoy the Thanksgiving turkey, but keep your eyes and ears open for some telltale signs that grandma may need some help in managing her daily life. Those signs may be as simple as letters and business correspondence scattered about in no sensible order. It may be late bills. It is often unopened correspondence.
The Senior part refers to, well, seniors, including those who due to the infirmities of age or sickness, require nursing home care. The Farmer refers to my childhood friend, farmer Paul Minor of Bristol, Connecticut, who tours the country with his family pig, Daisy, encouraging reading under the title of "Pig Out on Reading." The Pig, as you expected, refers to a pig, named Daisy, who is the most charming, most coddled, most travelled and most hugged and kissed pig on the planet.
Every so often it's important to give a reminder of the basic documents, what we can call legal tools that everyone needs. If we had a crystal ball and could see into the future, we would not need to plan ahead for end of life decisions. We have seen many clients through the years where a spouse had a sudden stroke making it impossible to communicate with the family.
Many people respond to advertisements about “living trusts.” Invariably the advertisement has an enticement, such as “avoid probate,” or “avoid taxes.” Sometimes people create a living trust, and sometimes they do not, but in almost all cases, the family does not have a good understanding of what the trust does, and very often, a mistaken impression that the trust will protect their assets if they need nursing home care. The words “living trust” simply mean that the trust is created and assets put into it while you are living. There are innumerable variations on what kind of “living trust” you can have.