Things I wish I would have known

Power of Attorney, Last Will & Testament, Guardianship and Conservator.

After 23 days at KUMed, 13 days at Kindred Ltac Hospital, and 43 days at NKC Hospital Acute Rehab, they put her in my care. What Now???. It was then that our personal space was invaded while she needed home care and her journey to recovery. Our world as we knew it was changed forever.

I never would have imagined that I would be caring for someone with a brain injury, providing assistance for activities of daily living, total financial, social and emotional support. Which brings me to my first item of events that I wish I would have done after we married.

I know that you probably have thought about a Last Testament and Will. Well do it. Also look into a “POA” Power of Attorney. Both of you need to sit down and talk about, “What would we do if something happened to us”. The children, family and our, what little estate we have.

The first thing the hospital is going to ask you, do you have a will? This didn’t hit me until they asked me if my wife would not respond or the possibility of being brain dead. Was I going to have to make the decision of “pulling the plug?”

Our Will really wasn’t enough. I eventually got with an attorney and had a POA “Power of Attorney” written up for myself and also for my wife. Although the POA for my wife was irrelevant because of cog nativity. Make sure you do both, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Choices & Health Care Choices Directive, and Durable Power of Attorney, for the financial stuff.

If you do not have those you will no doubt have to get Guardianship. She will have to have a legally appointed conservator. This will cost you probably not only more money, but especially, more headaches.

One thing to pay attention to is the “Case Worker” or “Social Worker”. That person will be assigned to you at every hospital or care facility. He or she will help do all of the ground work for you. Take notes if you possibly can. You can get plenty of “free” help. You just have to turn over some rocks, so to speak, to get there.

Another thing that should be done during this “Will” hunt is to make sure both of you have all your assets and debts between the two of you in writing. Otherwise you are going to find yourself calling the bank, work, insurance, and any other accounts or transactions. And guaranteed they will not give you any information unless you have POA or are the conservator. This was one of the most frustrating things I had to deal with. You also will not get long term disabilities and Social Security benefits without this. There is so much out there to put in writing so eventually I will add more to this in other blogs.

Hasta la próxima.

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