I am going to add a new feature on a monthly basis to introduce book reviews by my readers and/or to suggest resources. Since the direction of this website is for people to be more self directed – DIY for aging in place, I thought it may be practical to point out where you can find useful information for minimum cost. It will offer good reads or practical tools for the non denial folks out there.
For my first entry I am going to jump to the end…that is end of life decisions and how to record your choices. I read that people do not understand what final wishes means, only the technical term advanced directive. Literally for years I have had copies of a 12 page document, Five Wishes , in my file cabinet always putting off actually reading and filling it out. It asks you to answer such potent questions as what does life support mean to you. Do you want some one praying over you /or whispering in your ear. How do you want to be remembered ( write your own obit!) Yes, it is a formal legal document. But 40 states honor it and only four states require a notary, other wise grab a couple witnesses. It gives you a card to carry in your wallet.
It is the kind of thing you can put off doing forever even when you do not have forever. Formalizing it at some point before you lose that opportunity or clear perspective makes sense. I had gotten free copies from an employer years ago but now there is a small cost ( $5 ) to download it online from Aging with Dignity. https://agingwithdignity.org/shop/product-details/five-wishes
I also would like to offer one of my reader’s review of a an even more comprehensive guide for family members.
Review by Marguerite K York: “Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes” By Sally Balch Hurme, JD:Published jointly in 2015 by the American Bar Association and AARP
“Although the job is daunting and not particularly appealing, most of us feel a great sense of relief once we have made our end-of-life decisions and have our financial and legal affairs in order. “Checklist for My Family,” a 250-page workbook, is intended to help with the process and to serve as a single source of basic information for next-of-kin. The first quarter of the book provides an opportunity to provide heirs with “soft” information—things like favorite memories of parents and grandparents.
Then come the nuts and bolts chapters—checklists and questionnaires about insurance; retirement and veterans benefits; banking and savings; investments; real estate; other assets and debts; wills, trusts, and powers of attorney; and medical and final wishes. The reader fills out the pertinent information—ideally in pencil or erasable pen—and directs family/heirs to the locations of actual policies and other documents. A welcome feature is that there is a lot of room to enter information and the paper is good quality. The book is paperback, a convenient size (7 × 10 in), and lies flat. With a list price of $19.95, this is a very inexpensive opportunity to help achieve that priceless commodity—peace of mind. The book can be ordered at http://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=225782724&term=Checklist for my family.”