Are we the last ones????
The elephant in the room is the legal ease
What was it we would hear
Only two things we must do in life; pay taxes and die. No so easy any more taxes are cumulated on the least able to pay. And dying is very subjective; who says we are dead, who actually determines death and then what.
There is so much more to dying at this time in our history than ever before. Read to learn more.
Time, space and people change, however not when survivors are in the question
Each of us is a member of a family. Oh, we may not want to claim that family or spend time with them; however, this is our family legally and hereditarily.
There are families who simply cannot stand separation and will count the days, weeks, months or more until they can all be together again. Sometimes we find that our family is a group of friends, just not blood relatives. No matter the dynamics of our family, they are our family. And at some point we begin to see the loss of some or all of the members of our family. The question becomes ‘What happens to us?’
Many times we are the caregivers of our family as we provide care in their declining years. And at other times we watch our friends losing members of their family and going through what will be an experience we must also go through. The problem is we will not go through it all the way or emotionally the same as our friends. Certainly, older people do pass on and at the same time so do younger people. Yes it is very hard to lose a family member, however it may be harder on those left behind when we pass away. Parents will tell us it is so against all normalcies in life to have a child pass prior to them. Many times parents do not recover from this kind of grief. Especially hard is a death not measured in illness but rather in accident, suicide or by another’s hand. There seems no time to say good-bye or tell them how much they are loved. This passing is always surrounded by ‘what if’ or ‘if only’. Most of us do not accept this type of passing well. This is not to say any passing is good, sometimes however, we can see a blessing to the passing. When pain is so great, when the body fails to support the person or the mind is no longer available to be of use.
What happens when we are the last to be alive in our family, whether blood or bonded family? Will we be missed by anyone, will there be any though to what we would like done to mark our place in life, community or our world? This is happening more and more often. There is little we can do if we are the last. Every person should have a plan, that is accessible to the person they trust most at this point. This plan can be a simple business arrangement or a trusted friend who will take direction from a letter and Will. Through most of our life so many of us do not think of this as an action that is requiring our attention right now. We see this as a ‘some day need’. Although in our world of today, 2015, 2016 and so on we see that what is happening in our world is simply a miniature of our earthly world. Certainly most of us will not see this as an immediate need, so I ask you to think of these three scenarios.
- If we are already in a blood family of smaller numbers or have found a need to move away from our blood family for business, work, preference or any other reason that does not keep us in contact frequently; there is a greater need than we may have considered. Suppose we are a very productive member of society or not and have either a health incident or accident. No one is aware of our family members or our values or beliefs. Who will step up for us?
- If we have a strong familial history of a genetic disease process, who will answer for us? There are so many new medical discoveries to help alleviate physical and mental disease processes today that have never been around prior to this time our history. Will we be able to assert for ourselves what kinds of treatment we desire? This is a very real possibility.
- If there is an accident of any sort which places us in harms way, without warning such that we can call our relative and say ‘Hey, I am going to this medical care facility and need you to be my Durable Medical Power of Attorney.’ This is extremely rare. We mortals simply do not have this insight. Certainly with a disease process we may have the time for such planning, however there are few who want to face their own mortality and bring someone in to the loop before the actual need. Primarily because we (the ailing one do not want to talk or be ask an astronomic amount of questions, even though we have invested them to do just that.
These situations and others we have probably heard about are all too real. The result of turning our back and saying ‘not me’ is not being realistic. At some point we will have to face all of this. There is time for many of us to act on a plan of clear guidance for our family. Begin the process today; make a list of five people we would trust to make “Our Decisions”. People willing to put their own beliefs aside and seek the answer in our belief system, in our hour of need. People we trust to be our closest friend, to keep our secrets and act in an hour of need no matter the inconvenience to them. This process can take some time, so chose wisely and with much forethought. Once made make an appointment with our legal representative to have this legally documented and sealed. Be sure that all documentation is made available to our medical provider and contained in our electronic medical records; EMRs are here to help and harm, use this tool to our advantage.
And although we are very secure in our medical providers, those darn little bugs do get into most electronic equipment at different times, be sure this information is updated regularly. Updates can be on an as needed basis as long as we are review them quarterly. If for any reason we are not checking this information regularly, then provide a copy to our provider at the time of each visit. Do not just assume the recording is taking place, when leaving that appointment ask again if administrative staff were able to update our person medical file.
This information is just as important as our Social Security Number being correct or our passport being ready to go. Today we are as much of a professional leader in our health care as our physician. While the physician may know all the correct treatments for our condition, if their hands are tied by a legal step we have not accomplished, the missed treatment comes back to our door. Today we need to be proactive in our medical care; introducing our advocate, who will answer for us in communication with our legal provider and medical provider.
One passing thought if for any reason this medical power of attorney is a reciprocal agreement with a spouse or significant other, a parent or friend who is aging at the same life plane as us. Or if this person has or has exhibited some dementia, whether they are well now or not, please make an alternate decision maker for our medical power of attorney. The reason is medical crisis tend to bring on a stress induced memory situation all on their own. There is nothing worse for everyone involved that to have the decision maker unable to understand or make the decisions necessary.