Legal and estate planning deliver powers of attorney, living wills, wills and trusts. In a perfect world power of attorney documents are drafted years before the need. Life is imperfect. Stuff happens. If you are seriously injured, what life sustaining treatment do you want? If you are a power of attorney do you understand showing up at the hospital emergency room isn’t optional. Are you prepared to make the hard decision to turn off life support? Is appointing a family member the best choice for power of attorney, guardian or conservator? How will family conflict affect estate planning?
Eat Cookies: The Importance of Care Directives
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Washington will become the first state to clamped down the unregulated, explosive growth of elder-care referral businesses that rake in profits, sometimes deceptively, by promising to help families find long-term care for the aged.
Many attorneys become involved with families when health care issues arise, especially memory loss. I see many cases where a caregiving situation running smoothly for years suddenly turns into a nightmare. Perhaps the individual requiring care becomes combative or incontinence becomes an overwhelming task to manage. A previously comfortable situation becomes turbulent and turns into a situation where the caregiver is at a breaking point.
Almost anyone can be a professional guardian. Are the results the same from guardian to guardian or is there a difference between professional guardians who commit to implement the standards of membership organizations? How might wards benefit from guardians whose actions support a higher standard of care and thorough oversight? Here are a few questions to ponder regarding supervising service providers and developing service plans.
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Not many people enjoy change that is not self-initiated. My brother’s twice yearly visits to my parent’s home resulted in deep cleaning and rearranging of furniture. The rearranging always resulted in temporary distress for my parents who were very appreciative of the cleaning under furniture they could no longer move about and the flipping of heavy mattresses. How many of us experience similar discomfort or irritation when someone else moves or touches our stuff, when we are presented with a significant life change or even worse when we are asked to consider changing a “we’ve always done it this way” or a “stuck in the old way” behavior?
My niece recently posted questionable information on the internet that appeared on my Facebook page because we were friends; after reading the content I immediately and secretly “un-friended” her. I did not want the information in her post to appear on my page with readers assuming I approved of her conduct. Maybe I am becoming prudish in my middle age, but I believe there are too many posts that simply provide too much information and photographs that belong only in a private photo album rather than on the eternal library of the internet.
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Interview With Dr. Benjamin Hufbauer, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville
(podcast 8:28 playing time)
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Interview with Dr. Michael Gordon, Director of Medical Ethics and Palliative Care, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System, University of Toronto
(podcast 11:40 playing time)
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