My 86-year-old mother said to us the other day, "Life is like a circle. When you are a baby, you are in diapers and then when you get older, you are an adult in diapers." She is right! Over the last year, my mother has been going through the steps of dementia and is now in the advanced stage. She knows something is happening to and around her, but sometimes has difficultly determining just what is occurring—it is hard to see her struggle. However, using the organizing skills she instilled in me, together, with my husband James and one of my brothers and his wife, we have been able to assist her through the various stages of aging, while also looking to get us and our clients prepared as we age. To offer a little bit of context, below is a simple illustration of what my mom’s life circle represents to me as it relates to aging and organizing.
My Mom's Cycle of Life Thus Far
Organizing and Care Management
Many think about care management, but unfortunately rarely act. We recommend that you do not fall into this habit as it could be costly, emotionally draining and stressful. Until directly faced with the many dilemmas associated with care management, many are swayed into comfort by merely thinking about it, thus believing that this is the strategy and action plan. For those that fall into this comfort trap, many times it could lead to rushed decisions, which may or may not prove to be economically or socially sound. Organizing now can help! Though it may seem unconventional or feel uncomfortable, we recommend that you begin to research and create a care management strategy and action plan. We offer that you not wait until the time is upon you to create this plan, whether it be for yourself or a loved one—act NOW! Apply some of the management skills and personal experiences you have learned throughout your life and career that will guide you to retirement (e.g., if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail ~ Benjamin Franklin). Think of using your career development, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to help yourself now! In addition to the many life in transition organizing services that we at Organizing Resolutions with Starks can help you with, there are many care management professionals that offer other services that can assist you as well. For instance, within our San Diego area, high quality organizations, like Elder Care Guides, provide these care management services. Sarah Ferrara, MSW, who is a Client Services Manager at Elder Care Guides, and other members of the Elder Care Guides professional team, are certified local experts who work with you to evaluate your personal situation and coordinate in-home or any other needed services—now, that is quality of life organizing! Elder care professionals, like Sarah, are instrumental in providing ongoing support around the challenges of aging and disability and should be an essential part of your overall life organizing strategy. In addition to having a professional organizer and a client services manager on your team to assist you in navigating the challenges of aging, we offer some simple components that should be part of your holistic care management portfolio:
- Invest in life insurance that covers your estate: Primerica is a leading provider of term life insurance. Working to help families become financially independent, Primerica is a Main Street company for Main Street families. Contact our office today for more information about how we can help you.
- Invest in long-term healthcare insurance: Primerica is a Main Street company for Main Street families. Contact our office today for more information about how we can help you.
- Create a Will: Did you know that if you do not have a will your estate goes into what is known as probate and could then be award to the state, rather than to those loved ones. Legal Shield provides this service free with a membership.
- Create a Trust: Did you know that many paralegals are able to help you with this and at a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer?
- Burial: Did you know that you could purchase plots or other arrangements in advance? This could prove to be cheaper, as inflation is ever on the rise. This would also help loved ones in charge of your arrangements with carrying out your final wishes—peace of mind for all.
- Proof of ownership: Take the guesswork out of building and showing proof of your estate, do not leave anything to chance—remember you worked hard for it! As professional organizers, we at Organizing Resolutions with Starks can help you with getting all of your estate items organized and easily accessible (e.g., taking and organizing photos and videos of your estate, consolidating documents by purchase dates, etc.).
As I continue on this journey with my mom and her quality of life, and with what has been consistent unwavering support and assistance from my husband James, who loves my mom dearly and makes her laugh a lot, I will undoubtedly use the very organizing skills she instilled in me to help her in countless ways. You can also be assured that we at Organizing Resolutions with Starks are committed towards continuing to offer our assistance to our clients in every way possible, as we are universal organizers! I leave you with two words to aid you in formulating your aging care strategy and plan—Collective Planning, now come on together, let’s get organized!
Now, we would love to hear from you, our readers, on how you too have organized yourself or a loved one by commenting below on our blog. We would like to create a helpful resource here that can serve to help others! Lastly, to stay abreast of personal experiences, helpful tips, and strategies like this and others, please like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.