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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / The Holiday Caregiver Insurance Plan / Editorial List

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The Holiday Caregiver Insurance Plan

A gentleman asked a question at a recent Fearless Caregiver Conference. He had been trying to have a conversation with his mother about her long-term care wishes, but she had been putting him off and he was seeking advice.

I told him about my concept of creating a caregiver insurance plan. We have auto insurance even though we hope not to have a crash, fire insurance, life insurance and, well, you get it. These policies are secured due to the likelihood of our families facing such events. Of course, we all realize that it is better to have the appropriate policies in hand.

My belief is that all adult members of your family need to get together and have a conversation about their long-term care wishes in case they can no longer make these decisions for themselves. The topics include:

  • What are your end-of-life wishes? Do you have advanced directives to help ensure that these will be met?
  • Have you created a will and is it up to date? Many things may have changed since you first filled one out.
  • Who is your primary doctor? These days, we all go to so many different physicians that having one health care gatekeeper is more important than ever.
  • Do you have long-term care insurance? Where are the policies? (If you are a caregiver, it is imperative you do not ignore your own insurance needs.)

It is important that once the conversation starts, you do not make it an inquisition about your senior loved one. Instead, first share your own situation. You might say, "Mom, it's important to me that you know what my wishes would be in case anything happens." After sharing your own story, turn to her and say, "OK, now let's talk about what you want."

With family members coming together for the holidays, there is no better time for such a conversation, and no better gift that you can give your family.


Eldercare Locator Launches Holiday Campaign to Encourage Families to Start Conversations About Critical End-of-Life Issues

Eldercare Let's Talk Brochure (PDF)


Gary Barg

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