DEALING WITH GRIEF AND LOSS ALL BEINGS WITH DAY ONE...
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SURVIVING DAY ONE
Articles by Craig Meadows
Thoughtful Approaches to Financing End-of-Life Care
When you get the news that your loved one has a terminal illness, the emotions that follow are incredibly complex. Unfortunately, grief and sadness can often be compounded by financial concerns, such as how to manage end-of-life care and funeral expenses. Families understandably don’t want to burden their loved ones with the discussion of money issues. Fortunately, there are resources to aid in this difficult life transition. While it can be hard to think of making final arrangements for your loved one, caring and knowledgeable professionals such as Brooks Cremation and Funeral Service can be a vital resource in getting through this trying time.
Take a Breath
A terminal diagnosis, even when expected, is a shock for the patient and their loved ones. Take a moment to breathe, be together, and regroup and gather your strength for what’s to come. If mental health counseling would be helpful, tap into that resource as soon as possible. Start by making a list of everything that needs to be done, whether that’s arranging for in-home care, taking time away from work, or reaching out to friends and family for support. While it might feel overwhelming, Mayo Clinic says it’s important to ask for help as needed and build in time to spend with your loved one.
Consult with Caregivers
Everyone who faces a terminal diagnosis will have a different prognosis and different accompanying care needs. It’s important to work with your loved one’s care team, as well as your loved one, to make end-of-life care decisions. If a will, power of attorney, living will, or advanced directives have not yet been finalized, now is the time. Your loved one’s care providers should also help you understand what to expect in terms of illness progression. Social workers on your care provider team should be able to direct you toward resources and work with you and your insurance company to ensure you are able to get as many care costs covered as possible.
Hospice is a type of holistic care that helps patients and their families through the final stages of life. Hospice care may be delivered in-home or in a facility and encompasses whole-family needs. This includes palliative care – comfort measures that do not stop the progression of an illness, but rather, make an individual as comfortable as possible during their final days. Hospice care providers address the spiritual needs of patients, if such service is desired, as well as physical care and comfort, and grief counseling. Hospice care may be covered by insurance or offered on a sliding scale. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization provides access to resources and information that can get you through this time.
Every family’s finances are different. Your loved one may have exceptional insurance coverage, solid savings, or liquid assets. Many people, however, struggle with the financial elements of end-of-life care. If you have equity in your home, one approach that will protect against mounting credit card debt is to explore refinancing. This approach allows you to refinance the terms of your mortgage. You may actually be in a position to lower your interest rate in the process. Make sure you consult with a qualified lender to discuss the pros and cons of this approach.
The emotional and financial elements of end-of-life care are multifaceted. Utilize all of the resources at your disposal to ease the burden on yourself so you can focus on being present during your loved one’s final days.
Many terminally ill individuals want to pre-plan their own services. The caring staff of Brooks Cremation and Funeral Service is here to help.
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