It is not as simple as ABC


Written on November 28, 2014 – 6:40 am | by Audrey Miller

In our fast paced society where we use emoticons :), acronyms (PSW) and short cuts (R U….), I thought I would share a list of useful terms commonly used in the caregiving world. This list is taken from the article, Caregiving- Terms to Know, which I prepared for RBC and their Seniors Finance and Caregiving Site.

Frequently Used Terms and Acronyms

Acronym Term Brief Description
*ADL Activities of Daily Living Activities of daily living (ADLs) such as Feeding
• Toileting
• Bathing
• Eating

Advance Care Planning Planning in advance for decisions that may have to be made prior to incapability or at the end of life. People may choose to do this planning formally, by means of advance directives, or informally, through discussions with family members, friends and health care and social service providers, or a combination of both methods. (www.who.int)

*Assisted Living A type of residential living that provides supportive services, such as housekeeping, communal dining, and in some cases personal care assistance to seniors who require some help with daily living.

CA Capacity Assessment Capacity Assessment is the formal assessment of a person’s mental capacity to make decisions about property and personal care. (www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/capacity.asp)

Caregiver Burden The emotional, physical and financial demands and responsibility of an individual’s illness that are placed on family members, friends or other individuals involved with the individual outside the health care system. (www.who.int)

Caregiver Burnout A severe reaction to the caregiving burden, requiring intervention to enable care to continue. (www.who.int)

*Community Support Services Services provided in or through the community, such as transportation, shopping, house cleaning, and yard maintenance.

*Continuing Care A general term used to encompass home care, assisted living, and long-term care facilities where the sectors are not clearly separated, but seen as part of a continuum.

Geriatrician A physician who specializes in the care of older and aging adults. They have additional training and certification in addition to their medical training to help meet the special needs of older adults. Fellowships in geriatric medicine usually add about three years to their training.
Geriatricians become experts in dealing with and treating the multiple medical problems that many seniors suffer from. The ailments they treat range from Alzheimer’s disease to chronic pain and everything in-between. (seniorhealth.about.com)

Continue reading the full article here:

Caregiving is challenging in its own right; let’s be clear on the terms we use.

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    Thoughts on Power of Attorney Litigation


    Written on November 27, 2014 – 6:00 am | by Jasmine Sweatman

    The past couple blogs have discussed an increase in litigation while parents are still alive and one child is acting as attorney and others may be seeking more information or power etc.

    In addition it seems there is an increase in power of attorney litigation after the grantor has passed away and the other children want to dissect the actions and decisions of the attorney by forcing an accounting as attorney and questioning any “special” treatment or gifts the attorney may have received from their parents, who in most cases was appreciative of the attorney. These cases seem to be happening more frequently and an integral element in defending one is the record keeping of the attorney, which as we all know the quality of which can vary greatly.

    The obstacles, including obtaining records after the fact, especially after 7 years, could be in most cases “headed off at the pass” if the attorney was educated about their duties and kept records and if the grantor receives appropriate advice at the time of preparing the power of attorney.

    As the population ages and the instances of dementia rise, attorneys will be acting more frequently and our job as estate practitioners is to educate our clients at the earliest opportunity to, hopefully, avoid future litigation, or be able to address any concerns expeditiously and without court intervention.

    As Angela mentioned in her blog on Tuesday, choosing the right attorney and advising a client on how to select their attorney is one of the most important steps. Angela’s blog also touched on grantors having their attorneys seek legal advice before beginning to act. This advice can prevent a lot of the headaches future attorneys may be faced with if confronted, but presumes the grantor will speak with their attorney while capable and advise them they have been appointed.

    Communication by the grantor to his or her attorney and other family members is equally important. Often, the emphasis is placed on the attorney seeking advice and learning about their duties and obligations rather than on the grantor to communicate with the attorney, especially if the grantor expects or anticipates trouble from any of the beneficiaries of their estate, about the appointment, their expectations and any special considerations while capable which could go a long way towards avoiding litigation.

    Until next time,

    Jasmine Sweatman/Leigh sands

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      Family feuds – mom always did love you best


      Written on November 26, 2014 – 5:41 am | by Elaine Blades

      On Sunday, November 23rd, CBC radio show, The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright, featured a segment entitled “Estates, wills and the entitled generation”.  Mr. Enright welcomed two elder law experts to the show:  Jan Goddard - a well known and respected estates and elder law practitioner in Toronto – and Laura Tamblyn Watts - a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for Elder Law.

      The discussion focused on two inter-related themes:  the increase and acceleration in family fights over mom or dad’s estate.  According to Jan and Laura, not only are we seeing a dramatic increase in such fights, we’re seeing more battles take place while the parent is still alive.  It used to be the case that the children waited till their parents died, but that is changing as we see more fights over what should happen to a parent’s resources while they are alive.  Jan and Laura outlined their thoughts on why the landscape is changing, Here is a partial list of some of the factors they see at play:

      • an elderly “saver” generation with significant wealth means there is more at stake than ever before
      • a “spender” generation (the children) that is counting on their inheritance to erase their debts and fund their lifestyle
      • an older generation that is living longer often giving rise to care costs and/or incapacity issues
      • an increase in blended (or not-so-blended or “chopped up”, Jan’s words) families

      Jan and Laura touched on a number of related issues including some of the grounds for challenging a will: financial dependancy, matrimonial rights, lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence.  They discussed how elder abuse and family dynamics can fit into the equation and how shoddy (my word) planning (internet wills, inter vivos gifts, transfer into joint tenancy) can wreak havoc on families.  When host Michael suggested that being an only child seemed to be the way to go, his guests pointed out that only children are not immune to the “competition for resources” scenario that often plays out between child and step-parent.

      When Mr. Enright asked whether it’s always about money, his guests simultaneously cried “no”.  Jan and Laura acknowledged that while money is almost always an issue, other factors are often at play including:  sibling rivalry, an unsavoury family history, the sentimental value of assets and control.

      Unlike Mr. Enright, nothing that his guests said surprised me.  Nevertheless, it was an interesting and informative 30 minutes.  I commend you to the podcast which can be found here.

      Thanks for reading.

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