How We Helped Paul

ltc 66“I never imagined all the decisions that I would have to make when my wife was first diagnosed with Dementia, or thought about how I was going to handle being in the unexpected role of a full-time caregiver. There were so many questions and concerns I had and it was a very difficult time for both of us. With your help, I was able to take a step back and carefully evaluate what options we had, what the pros and cons of each one were, and what challenges we would face with each choice. Your worksheets were invaluable with helping me to prepare and identify the important issues we needed to address with our Elder Law Attorney. As a retired Military Veteran, I was enormously grateful to have learned of the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit, which I am now using to pay for my wife’s care. I’ve gone from living with despair and unhappiness, having the weight of the world on my shoulders, to living with happiness and hope once again.  Thank you so much for all you have done.”


How We Helped Mary

woman 8“When I suffered a Brain Aneurysm at the age of 44 and my 10 year old daughter had to call 911 in order to save my life, it sure was a wake-up call. I had lived a healthy lifestyle, with proper attention to a good diet and regular exercise. I wasn’t overweight, didn’t smoke, and didn’t drink. I thought I was in picture perfect health, that is, until that shocking moment when I collapsed to the floor. After 14 days in the ICU, I was feeling so frustrated because I knew that they had NOT diagnosed me correctly and that I was not okay. Instead, they continued to treat me for dehydration! I knew they were missing something and that if I wanted to get better, it was up to me to to advocate for myself and find my inner voice. Advocating for myself did not come easy, but it had to be done. Unfortunately, I had not planned carefully, nor prepared properly as you teach so well, nor did I have my Advanced Directives or my Final Affairs in order. I always knew that I needed to get them done, but I thought I had plenty of time. I also thought that it would be too complicated to do, and that as a single mom, it would be too expensive to go to an attorney. I never realized how easy it would be to put my legal affairs in order, or that there were plenty of affordable options. Thanks to you, I now have a clear understanding of what I needed, why I needed it, and what I should do if I ever find myself in the situation where I need help again. My affairs are now finally in order and I have taken control over my Healthcare for the first time in my life. I can breathe a little easier knowing that should disaster strike again, I’ll be better prepared to handle whatever comes my way. I am so grateful for your help and guidance in learning how to become my own best advocate.  Thank You!”


How We Helped Dave

man 1

“My heart problems first began 3 years ago when I experienced dizziness, shortness of breath, unusual fatigue and heart palpitations. My life has been on a roller coaster ever since and I spent a small fortune trying to get well again. Nothing I tried worked to date and I had been lead down a lot of dead-end paths. It’s been so discouraging. I’ve seen countless doctors and numerous treatment centers, endured test after test, and even had unnecessary heart surgery where there was an accidental nicking of my artery that caused me additional complications. I didn’t know what to do or where to begin. You helped me to focus my thoughts, organize my medical records and create a Medical Summary Report, which I have been using and adding to ever since. It began to get me on the right track. Everybody I shared the Medical Summary Report with told me how helpful it was.  My doctor said he wished all of his patients would provide something so concise. It enabled me to give the same information to everyone in a clear and logical way, and was the perfect a snapshot of my medical situation. I found that when I’m sitting there with a doctor I am no longer nervous or have a hard time recollecting my thoughts or verbalizing my medical history. My Medical Summary Report enables me to communicate more to all my doctors than any amount of discussion I could ever have. Suddenly, my doctors have began to see the enormity of what I have been living through. I appreciated your encouragement NOT to give up, no matter what. You were right. Many times people experience multiple health issues all at one once and it can be very hard to identify. I now understand it will take time and effort to sort all these problems out, but I finally have hope once again. I was so ready to give up. By researching my symptoms and collaborating with my doctors on possible conditions, I have discovered that I suffered from dehydration . By simply adding additional water intake and electrolytes into my diet I finally got relief from my dizziness. Who would have thought something so simple would have created these terrible symptoms?  Hopefully now that I have the tools you’ve given me to dig deeper and be in control, I will be able to finally be able to get all of my medical problems resolved. I always just blindly trusted my doctor and never really took an active role in my own Healthcare. That has all changed now. I may not be better yet, but for the first time in years, I feel that I am finally on the right track. It’s made a big difference to me and I just wanted to say that I really appreciated your help.”


How We Helped Betty

mother and daughter 1“I don’t think anything ever prepares you for the day when you have to give up your independence and rely solely on your children for help. It’s been a really difficult transition for me. Of course, I never expected to have the complications that I had from my bypass heart surgery. I guess I should have been better prepared. In my mind, I figured I’d either come out of the surgery good as new, or I wouldn’t wake up at all. I never even considered the alternative, nor anticipated that I could have come away from it debilitated for life. Thankfully, I had my daughter to turn to for help and to take over my care. But it wasn’t easy. I felt so bad that she had to give up her job, I had to give up my house, and that I had to move 150 miles away to be with her. Things were so  chaotic during that time. I spent 3 months in the hospital and another 2 months in a rehab center before I could finally move into her home. There was so many things we needed to work out, and you were such a big help to both of us. You taught us to work through the situation one-step-at-a-time and showed us how to develop an immediate, short-term, and long-term care plan. I had a small long-term care insurance policy that enabled us to hire a home care company to come in a few hours a day. That has been such a blessing, because it gave my daughter a few hours of respite each day for her to run her errands. We took your advice and contacted a Medicaid Planning Specialist to set up a Family Caregiver Agreement and prepare for the “what if’s” of life. The specialist has already helped me to reposition my assets, purchase an annuity, and complete a life transition plan. I feel so much better knowing that if things get worse and my daughter is no longer able to care for me, I won’t have be a bigger burden on her than I already am or go broke paying for that care. Sometimes it’s the smallest of details that makes the biggest difference in life. For us, it was a matter of us learning what needed to be done and then going ahead and doing it. It seemed daunting at the time, but with your help we it was manageable. Now that this transition is finally behind us, we can breathe a little easier. We can rest assured that no matter what comes our way, our family will be okay. The peace of mind you gave me is invaluable.  God Bless you for all that you have done for us!”


How We Helped Sumati


“Both of my wrist bones were shattered. It was Friday afternoon and the emergency room doctors told me to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on Monday and sent me home. The pain killers barely took the edge off the pain, but I was doing what the doctors said – go home and wait for Monday. Between the pain and the effects of the pain meds on my thinking, I had little mental capacity to do much beyond that. So, I started to wait. Without any family in the area, I was on my own. As soon as Bonnie became involved, the waiting stopped and action began. By the end of Sunday, I had an appointment for Monday morning with probably the best orthopedic hand surgeon in the area. Who knew you could get an appointment on a Sunday? But that was only the beginning. On Monday, Bonnie accompanied me to the doctor. At the end of the appointment, I had a date set for surgery and paperwork to complete. Bonnie helped me with the paperwork. She next guided me through the round of pre-op tests and more medical paperwork. I thought I was ready to go. But no, I wasn’t. With Bonnie by my side, we were off to prepare a living will and medical power of attorney. “It’s just a broken wrist,” I protested. But of course, Bonnie was right. There is always risk in even the most common of surgeries. The surgery went very well, so I had no need of either document, thank goodness, and I healed nicely. But I am very glad to these Advanced Directives in place in case there is a next time. That is where my story should end, but it doesn’t. Although the out-patient surgery went perfectly fine, when the anesthesia wore off at about 7:30pm that night, the pain was more than I could bare and the pain killers were of no help. Bonnie called the surgeon’s office and spoke with the physician’s assistant, who immediately sent me to the emergency room for a shot of morphine. Unfortunately, that shot of morphine did nothing to help minimize my pain. Neither did the second pain killer they tried. Hours later, the third pain killer started to help, but by then it was 3:00am in the morning and the pain was still enough to prevent me from falling asleep. With Bonnie still at my side, I was admitted into the hospital and my pain level was finally brought under control. I can’t thank Bonnie enough for getting me successfully through such a horrific experience.”



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