Sandy Myerson has written a book called Elder Care Assistance: A Practical Guide Covering Health, Financial and Legal Considerations, which is a practical guide for everyone. This discussion centers around making sure to find out what your loved ones want, so that you can handle their wishes in case they are in a condition where they can’t tell you themselves.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show. Welcome back to answers for elders radio and I am here with Sandy Myerson, who is written a book called Elder Care Assistance, available on Amazoncom, and we’ve previously talked a little bit about why it’s important for families to get their stuff in order, but we’re going to go a little bit farther in this conversation and talk about why do you need to do this and really, what is it that you want when you’re preparing your assets, putting your assets together? So, Sandy, thank you for coming back and sharing your thoughts. Thank you very much, Sandy. Net a little bit of background about you, obviously, as you got started in this, basically when your husband passed away. Is that correct? Yes, and tell me a little bit about that experience. Well, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and he passed away six months later. Education was most important for him. He had every we had all the legal documents in place. I had the spreadsheets eventually with all his medical information, but I knew what he wanted for his end of life and that was important. To me, because you don’t know if someone wants to be sustained as long as they can. But he didn’t want US suffering anymore. Right, right. It was a matter of just time and keeping him comfortable. Right and and really luckily, you guys had an opportunity to probably talk a lot about what is it that he wanted and what his wishes were correct. But a lot of times those things don’t happen. I know with my mom it was like pulling teeth to say what is it that you want? How do you want me to honor you as your daughter? And those are things questions I think that families have. They have challenges in having those kind of conversations and I know that. You know, as we progress and we get older, we want to be respectful of mom and dad’s maybe wishes and and our own wishes. We may not even have thought about what is it that I want when I’m older, and that should happen if you’re thirty years old, twenty years old, because you never know what can happen. Is that correct, Sandy? Yes, so tell me a little bit about you. You know. Do you have any experiences where that is taken place? Well, it’s so important, whether taking place, whether it be financially, legally or medically medically. What do you want at the end of life and how do you want it taken care of? That’s medically. Legally, you need to make decisions on if you become and capable, physically or met or mentally, who do you trust taking care of your assets? And then you’ve got financially, you’re in the same vote. Who Do you trust taking care of everything? And if you don’t have the legal documents, anyone could step in and use your money or take advantage of you. And there’s so many older people in particular that are being taken advantage of. You. We see this in the News daily right right and you know, that breaks my heart and and I’ve seen it. I’ve seen families be torn apart because they think, well, mom would want this and and you know, they’re trying to figure it all out and it’s because mom and dad didn’t lay it out in advance. And it’s also very difficult. What I have found with the quote unquote greatest generation, those that are in their s right now, they don’t want to talk about you know and popular things they know and they don’t want to trouble their children. They don’t want to talk about downers that and and the kids don’t want to bring it up because they don’t want to make mom or dad feel like they’re, you know, that they’re prying. And so it’s one of those things that I think is really, really valuable that families get on the same page and do that while Mom Dad are still alive exactly. And what’s become interesting to me is after I’ve spoken to a senior group. Sometimes they bring a forty year old child with them, but they all sit down and with their children. We’re talking thirty, forty, fifty year olds and they both fill it out, realizing how important the financial, legal and medical information is, because we need to know what you want. And the children may think, Oh, I want you know, if you become come single and you have to be alone, you don’t want to live in this house alone and worry about stairs. Right, and this is what the children are thinking. But if the parents are alive, they say we’re fine, but one fall and life changes drastically. And then, as an experience, one lady I one talk I gave her son was coming down to look at assisted living with her and picked out six places. In my book has four spreadsheets on Housing and the lady had gone through the spreadsheets and they only had to look at two places because she knew what she wanted in a housing facilitate. And it’s not like convalescent homes fifty years ago. Now independent housing is everything you can want, but there’s social you can live on your own, but there’s meals provided for you and there’s activities and there’s social thing. It’s sot a Footbo Gamership, or is that our that’s’s amazing. And if you don’t have the responsibility of managing the house, well, and it’s interesting to me too, because I’m not going to use any names, but there’s there’s online services right now that you can go and say, you know, find a senior living community for Marm or dad, but there’s really no connection with the family as far as what are their values? What is that person’s highlight highest values and why is it? You know, why are those values most important and selecting a community, and that is one of, probably the one of the most important factors. So we are talking again to Sandy Myerson and she has written the Book Elder Care Assistance, a practical guide to what is it offering health, legal and financial covering iterations. There you go, covering health, legal and financial considerations. And, Sandy, this book is on Amazoncom. Is that correct? Yes, how do we find it? All you have to do is go to the Amazon website, type in elder care assistants and the book will come up. You can put in by Sandy Myerson, but that’s that’s it. Not Necessary. Yes’s elder care assistants. It’s also there’s an e version available. MMM. So you can choose either one. That’s great. So you can do basically like a kindle version or audience, and you can also do a paperback and its audio and an audio. Good for you. That’s great. That’s great. And you have spreadsheets in there, and tell me a little bit about what the spreadsheets do. Okay, there are spreadsheets for financial your legal documents, all your medical information. But it’s so important that I have in the book a nine hundred and one envelope, and in that envelope you need, if you have a DNR, do not resuscitate, that must go in there, a medical directive. Who can make medical decisions for you if you are unable. MMM, the prescription spreadsheet, which lists your doctor, as well as the phone number to contact the doctor, but not just the name of your prescriptions, but the weight of the pill, MMM, how often you take it? Is it generic pharmacy? You go do as well as a physician and the physicians and number. And this way the hospital has no excuses for what you have, what you have allergies to or whatever. Right. And then you need to copy the front and back of your medical insurance. And lastly, and very important, is a list of important phone numbers and those five items, if they’re in an envelope labeled nine hundred and twenty one and you put it on the back of your front door or on your refrigerator in your glove complex and pulsed form, that may be on your refrigerator as well. Right. And if you have to call for an emergency, you grab the envelope and go and you have they hospital doctors have all the information they need to contact whomever and manager medical. I’m that is so much better than you know. I as my mother’s daughter, when I was her caregiver, I used to keep an envelope in my car and it was in that like the pocket of my back seat, out of my front seat. So and in that envelope I had my power of attorney, I had a list of olive her prescriptions and I had any sort of pertinent information. For example, you know her likes dislike. So if I ever have to go to the hospital, all I had to do when I’d go pick her up or whatever, as I could grab that envelope out of my back seat. But you’re saying in the home that’s really important as well. Right, the medical director is so important because only people on that medical director of the legal document can make medical decisions. Right, right. And of course I had, you know, I did have a all of her credit cards in my name at that time when I became her attorney. In fact, they the banks that automatically issued cards, as the Ai Aif for norma cons at the time. So that’s how that worked. I’m assuming it still works that way. Is that correct? Every state is slightly different. Got It. Got It. And the other thing is many hospitals don’t have somehow hospitals today will have all your information if that’s the hospital you go to or your doctors are located, but you can go to another hospital and they will not have the medical information. So you can write anything right. And the other thing is the DNR is only in your physicians office, so you can go to the hospital and they don’t have it. Oh, they won’t have it. Yeah, and the thing is is the people that get you to the hospital, it’s an ambulance. They will do everything to keep you alive. That’s right. And less the AWFULES are standing right. It’s crazy, isn’t it? And and one of the things you know, and I guess in closing, I want to talk about you know, I think it’s in times of crisis and when something happens that families fall apart. They come apart at the seams and I truly believe that, as a responsible adult, every single human being should really have this conversation, first of all with themselves and with your spouse, of what are your final wishes, and then do something about it. I read a statistic not too long ago that the cost of funerals double every three years. They double, they’re rageously expensive, and yet there’s things that you can do today that locks in the price of a funeral, so you don’t for that expense to your children. And the other thing is you get your wishes honored, and so this is something I think that, Sandy, you’ve been so great about talking about really having this conversation, you know, number one with yourself, but getting those pieces in place, I think, which is so important, isn’t that true? Yes, and every generation needs its information. That’s Great, Sandy. I’m so glad you’re here. So tell us how to get your book again. It’s available at Amazoncom and that’s the only place you can get it and you just put in elder care assistants and the book will come up. And again, the book is for everyone, not just elders, and I’ve learned that through talking around the country. Absolutely well. I’m so glad you’re here and we look forward to maybe happening back sometimes. Say Thank you very much. Answers for elders radio show with Susan Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcast like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive our monthly newsletter, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders RADIOCOM. 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Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.