Book Review: “Moving Out A Family Guide to Residential Planning…”

Moving Out – A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities is a wonderful resource for families exploring living options for their loved ones. Written by Dafna Krouk-Gordon, the founder and president of TILL, Inc., and special needs attorney Barbara Jackins, the book is a wealth of information in an easily understandable format.

The Chapters cover the types of residential options that are available, how you and your child can prepare for their independence, the financial aspects of moving out, how to work best with the staff at the residence and troubleshoot any issues that may come up, as well as your continuing role in your child’s life and how to make the arrangement can continue even after you are gone.

It has a wonderful appendix with examples of job postings for residential staff (if you are going to set up your own residence), a checklist of what your child will need,  sample house rules, safety assessments, even pictures of group homes.

If you think your child may one day want or need to live independently, this book is a great place to start to help you both get ready.

Food, Feelings and End of Life Wishes

The New York Times has a recent article about Food and the Dying Patient. It talks about a patient with dementia who could no longer swallow. When they tried to feed her she aspirated the food into her lungs which was causing pneumonia. The doctors turned to the family to decide whether they wanted aContinue Reading

Do You Need To Update Your Living Will?

A living will, also called an advance health care directive, is a place to lay out your wishes for medical care and treatment at the end of your life. The hope is that your appointed agents will make sure these wishes are carried out. You can specify things such as whether or not you wantContinue Reading

Limitations to Guardianships & Conservatorships

As part of the changes to the guardianship and conservatorship process in Massachusetts a few years ago, the courts have been moving away from full guardianship and conservatorship and towards limited ones. The idea is to protect the person in need, while still allowing them to retain rights as appropriate.  On the forms that areContinue Reading

“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”

My favorite New Yorker cartoonist wrote/drew a memoir of caring her for aging parents called “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” It outlines their decline as their minds and bodies start to go. She talks about how no one wanted to talk about “the future” but still they had to keep walking towards itContinue Reading

Including Charities In Your Estate Plan

Many of my clients include charities that are important to them in their wills. The New York Times has a recent article about how other are including charities in their estate plan as well. “This situation is more and more prevalent,” agrees Kevin Pickett, executive director of development at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.Continue Reading

Supporting Your Sibling Who Is a Caregiver

A lot of my clients are caregivers. They are adult children of parents whose health is failing, whose house may be falling apart, whose mind is fading and whose world is dwindling. They are the sibling of a person who has and will be dependent upon someone due to intellectual disabilities or severe mental healthContinue Reading

“Mom, do you have a will?”

“Mom, did people come and watch you when you signed your will? Do you have a will?” This is what my 9 year old niece asked her mother while the three of us were lazily paddling our kayaks down the Mystic River on Easter Sunday in search of turtles. I had been talking about howContinue Reading

Moving An Out of State Guardianship To Massachusetts

Here is a scenario that happens everyday: Sue Jones lives with her daughter Mary Jones in Georgia. Mary has intellectual disabilities and Sue was appointed as her guardian by a court in Virginia. Sue and Mary move to Massachusetts. Sue visits with an attorney to make sure everything is in order and asks “does myContinue Reading

Happy Health Care Decisions Day!

April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day.  While some of the seemingly fake holidays can make one roll their eyes, others, like Health Care Decisions Day (and Be Kind To Lawyers Day) are valuable reminders to pause and take care of important business. We are all in charge of our own health care decisionsContinue Reading