That is the main thing I can say right now. I won't be blogging much for a little while as I'm in the midst of dealing with my father's latest and most serious health crisis. What I most want to share from the experience is this:
- If you don't have a will or a health proxy, you must make one: DO IT NOW.
- If you aren't sure if an aging parent has made a will, you must ask: DO IT NOW.
- If you don't have a straightforward list written down of all your bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, prescription info, mortgages, loans, regular bills, etc., please remember how hard it will be for your family to look after your needs without this information if you are even temporarily incapacitated: DO IT NOW.
- If you don't know all of the above information about an aging parent, you must ask: DO IT NOW.
When someone is seriously ill, the last thing you want to have to worry about is financial stuff. You should get it all organized well before there is a health problem, so it doesn't have to be addressed at a time when everyone is already under pressure. Have the conversation with your aging parent years or decades before they are in a hospital bed with a blood pressure cuff on and a monitor hanging above them that tells you the truth about how they are feeling, even if they seem to be taking it okay.
Please, please, please, think about all these things, but more importantly DO THEM NOW.