What (Almost) No One Plans for . . . But We All Should 


My husband and I recently undertook a long overdue update of our wills. We covered all the relevant issues of estate planning, executorship, power of attorney for property and power of attorney for personal care (‘personal care’ meaning resuscitation direction). We had several prior discussions that informed our legal directives. After these important documents were completed, we felt very grown-up! Responsible. Organized. Planful. 

However, the one discussion we did not have, nor document, is planning for living care. What happens if? Who will do it? What are your wishes?

We are not alone in our failure to plan. Our parents, unfortunately, are no longer alive, so caregiving becomes an issue for ourselves. And an uncomfortable issue at that. No one wants to imagine themselves or their loved ones in need of care. Typical Boomers, we are focused on living our best lives — now!

But for many women — and yes, this is primarily a women’s issue — the topic can’t be ignored. Caring for an aging parent (a task that almost universally falls to women) or partner is daily life. And until now, it has been very much a journey without maps. 

Our guest blogger, Dr. Ilene Nathanson, is a pre-eminent social worker and gerontologist whose recent book, Caregiving Confidential: Path of Meaning, provides answers to some common challenges faced by caregivers of older adults. As Ilene states, she wrote the book to soothe, not scare readers. Using a light touch and humor, Ilene’s book offers support for caregivers and summarizes potential issues and pitfalls for people planning caregiving for themselves or significant others. She addresses a range of issues from Taking Away the Car Keys to Who is Going to Take Care of Me?

Our mission at LEANING OUT is to provide both Preparation and Inspiration for the next phase of life. After reading Ilene’s blog (and her book) we hope you will feel more prepared for one of life’s inevitable challenges.

Trish Wheaton

P.S. You can hear Ilene’s Al Cole interview which aired September 16th, 2022 on iTunes Radio — People of Distinction by clicking here:

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Photo credit: RJ Kern