Chris Cooper, Fiduciary

Chris Cooper, Fiduciary

Today's episode with Chris Cooper was value packed!

If you are currently a family caregiver, or about to become a family caregiver, you need to know about Fiduciaries, and what they do.

A Fiduciary is responsible for the following:

  1. Medical
  2. Psychological
  3. Social
  4. Environmental
  5. Legal
  6. Financial

What you might not realize is that Family Members are also responsible for those same areas.  Many family members don't realize that they are responsible for all six areas, and tend to only focus on legal and medical issues.

Chris explains that the problems are not necessarily in areas #1 and #5, but are often in the other four areas.  For example, people with Alzheimers often have depth perception issues, something which we don't normally think about.  Their living space can be an environmental hazard.  (See Episode 34 for tips).

Many of the issues that baby boomers need to think about are alien to us, because we don't think about these things.  Some of the problems arise when a family member is assigned the task of taking care of mom or dad, and the family doesn't agree. This is where a Fiduciary comes in.

Fiduciaries are trained to work with all six areas. Unlike family members, they've received training.

Children are often not prepared to do all of these things.  We have our own lives to live.  We have our own stresses.  When a family member needs help, we get thrown into the pool, and get our “baptism by fire”.  We don't often realize that our parent needs to be seen as an adult. We need to let them live their lives in dignity, and then we can live their lives in peace.  Is it right for the children to sacrifice their lives for their aging parents?

Licensed Fiduciaries come from all walks of life.  Its many times “the Third Career”.  Many are in their late fifteens and sixties.  The median age is 58, but many are in their seventies.  Their backgrounds are varied, but they have a common bond.  They want to help protect seniors.

Chris said that sometimes abusers are a family member, but sometimes they are professionals (like financial advisers or caregivers).

Having a Fiduciary can help protect your family member.  Many of these professionals are not trying to harm their clients, but they “don't know what they don't know”.  Many are ignorant.  They do not know what is in the best interest of their client now that their client's capacity has diminished.

  • Where is mom to live?
  • Can you uproot her without harming her?
  • How does the family get along?
  • Is there a neighbor bringing donuts to mom, who is a diabetic?
  • Do you need a guardianship?
  • How can you reduce expense?
  • Do you need an attorney?
  • How can you keep your privacy?
    • Is Lindsay Lohan's information public because she is being “conserved”?,
  • Can we take lessons from the past, and plan for our own retirement lifestyle?

Who needs a Fiduciary?

  • Alzheimer's Patients
  • Disabled Adults and Children
  • Middle Class
  • Wealthy
  • People who need Long Term Care
  • Caregivers who are having issues within their own families due to the stress of caregiving
  • Family members who don't agree on care options

Public sources might pay for services that a fiduciary recommends.  For example, Medicare might pay for family counseling.    The fiduciary can take a look at what is available under public services such as Veteran's Benefits, Medicaid or Medi-Cal, or other programs. Mom and dad might even have the money to pay for some things themselves.

Outside Fiduciaries can often help show the financial records, medical records, etc. to keep the family unit strong.  This also can help keep adult protective services, police, and fire departments away.

Everyone is unique, and no two situations are alike.  The good news is that Fiduciaries have training that can help.

Chris Cooper's Book:  Elder Care Confidential: Cautionary Tales for Adult Caregivers and Caretakers of Parents and Spouses.

To reach Chris, go to:  http://www.chriscooper.com  or 800-352-7674

Get Today's Freebie, Three Reasons why Your Parents need a Fiduciary, at http://RockYourRetirement.com/Fiduciary

This post on Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

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