I am participating in the 31 Days of Free Writes October challenge. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. (Confession: I *may* not be able to resist spell-checking!)
Today’s prompt: Plan
Given the season of life we have just passed through, let’s be practical today. When embarking on the caregiving process, even if you do it relatively spontaneously (or especially when you do it spontaneously), it is critical to have done some planning in advance. Otherwise, you’ll spend a LOT of time hunting and wondering.
A plan would have kept me from tearing apart my father-in-law’s house soon after he moved in with us, looking for his DD 214 to apply for veterans’ benefits. (We ended up having to order one from the federal gov’t — turns out his year’s records were involved in a fire in the warehouse (or something) so recreating/retrieving it was …. a process.
I’m sure we’ll find his original sometime long after it is needed.
(And he didn’t qualify for veterans’ benefits (aid in attendance) no matter how many well-meaning people, including attorneys, told us he should, but we needed it anyway. Did you know the gov’t provides a headstone to every veteran?).
And then there are things like his driver’s license. Somehow we survived the period between his license expiring, when we SHOULD have gotten him an ID, and his death, but there were times when he had to present an ID that an eagle-eyed bank rep (or whatever) didn’t accept his expired license. That’s not so much a planning thing, I guess, as a prioritization thing, but it was a pain to get him to the DL office to do the ID process so we hesitated.
There are also lots of adjustments you should make to your home when you have a feeble elder living with you (pick up throw rugs, install grab bars in the shower, elevate the toilet seat).
A plan can bring you more peace of mind than I can possibly express.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.