Do you know where your important documents are?
Here is an all-too-familiar scenario.
My Dad lives in another town. Last month, a neighbor found him almost comatose. He was admitted to the ICU with acute kidney failure. We got to the hospital as quickly as we could. While I was trying to figure out what was going on, I was hammered with questions. What medications was he taking? Which doctors was he seeing? Did he have a Medicare supplement policy? A living will or power of attorney? I wasn’t sure Dad would make it through the night but we had to find answers.
Situations such as this one could have easily been avoided if their information and wishes had been put in place ahead of time. It is very important to organize critical records and information. Doing so is a health and wellness measure and something you can do for yourself, at little or no cost. Organizing is a fairly easy task and by doing so you will avoid many risks, such as financial abuse, unnecessary legal procedures and loss of control.
There’s no better time than now to get started! You will need to purchase a file case, several files with tabs and hanging files. Consolidate in your organizer all documents pertaining to your legal, medical, insurance, electronic and financial records—especially your advance directives for health care (also referred to as a Living Will or Healthcare Power of Attorney). That way, if there ever comes a time when you can no longer speak for yourself, such as in the case of a stroke, heart attack, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, your wishes will be carried out according to your own plan.
The document organizer makes sense for everyone.
- You: Create an efficient and comprehensive file system for yourself. This will make it easier for your family to access your important information and documents when needed. Plus, it allows you to stay in control of your affairs longer and clarifies your wishes for others.
- Our seniors: As a caregiver, you can create an organizer as a gift for your ailing loved one. You will ultimately be less stressed during their transition and better equipped to cope with demands on your life.
- Family: Be a hero to your children and loved ones. Save them the difficult and frustrating task of gathering all the information needed for your care, life management, and last wishes. They will be forever grateful for this gift and comforted knowing how to follow your wishes.