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Becoming a Family Caregiver? You need a Fiduciary! Episode 65

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

How to find a Caregiver: Douglas Breuer Episode 60

How to find a caregiver

How to find a caregiver

This Caregiver Agency provides a free venue for people to get to know caregivers

Douglas Breuer started MyCareMatch.com with one objective: Make the process of finding the right care solution less complicated for seniors, people with disabilities and their loved ones.

Douglas’ motivation stems from his direct experience in senior care and case management over the last 10 years.  He started his career in Adult Protective Services. Doug investigated cases where vulnerable adults were being exploited or abused.  He then moved on to act as District Manager for the State of Oregon (“DHS”).  While there, he directed the delivery of long term care services throughout the Central Oregon region. Douglas had the opportunity to work with seniors and adults with disabilities as well as their families.  In his role he coordinated with staff, individual care providers, home care agencies, care communities and countless other service providers to develop care arrangements for seniors and adults with disabilities.

In our interview, Doug explains what MyCareMatch does that is different from home care agencies.  He also talks about why you might want to use it.

Caregivers can build profiles detailing their experience, education, photos, references, resumes and even videos.  If you've ever tried to find a caregiver, you'll probably see how this is helpful.

The organization also can provide extensive background checks with the caregiver's permission. They also provide reference checks and can even provide DMV checks all at very reasonable prices.

We discussed the Caregiver Registry for the state of California..

Caregivers now go through an intense State screening process. Doug recommends that even if a Caregiver has had a background check a few months ago it is always best to get a more recent one.

The website offers a search tool and educational resources you can explore. If you decide you want to contact a caregiver or care agency, you contact them directly. It is a one to one process.

We also discuss “Ray” who was one of his first clients when working for the state of Oregon. Ray was developmentally disabled.  Ray, who was also a senior, didn't let his disability stop him.  He lived in the home his parents left him, and some people wanted to take that away from him. Doug would get lots of calls about people trying to take advantage of Ray. He talks about the relationship he built and how he helped intervene to keep him protected, and helped maintain his independence

Find out more at http://www.mycarematch.com

This post on Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on RockYourRetirement.com

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