Who among you was a Boy Scout or Girl Scout? Raise your hand.
My bet is that there are lots of hands raised out there right now. Did you know that at one point in our nation’s history, more than 4 million boys and 3 million girls participated in scouting?
Even if you weren’t one of them, I’m sure you know that the motto for both organizations is, “Be prepared.” Good advice, and not just for scouts.
As a mom, I used to carry a giant handbag. I had everything imaginable in there in case of emergency. Tissues, safety pins, crayons, band aids, dental floss, a measuring tape, chopsticks… the list is long (and pretty funny). The thing of it is, you’d be surprised at how much of it I did actually use. Listen, I was prepared.
That was the theme of our August Meadowell series, entitled Navigating Your Future at Meadowood.
The series, which was held each Wednesday morning in August, began with our resident brain health expert Eileen Joseph. Eileen talked about changing your mindset to deal with the decisions that most all of us will have to make at some point in our lives. The gist of it was, “Let’s not sugar coat it.”
Change is hard, especially when it means we have to give up some of our independence. But it can also be freeing, because trying to hold on to the status quo can take up so much time and energy, there isn’t room for the good stuff like spending time with friends and family and having fun.
In the next session, attorney Rob Slutsky of Slutsky Elder Law spoke about the importance of preparing legal documents such as living wills, power of attorney (and medical power of attorney), as well as gifting money and creating a trust. The well-attended session gave us a lot to consider when it comes to legal preparations as we get older.
Next up, a panel of Meadowood staff, including the Vice President of Health Services Regina Farrell; a nurse from the Resident Care staff, Cristen Sanchez; social worker Maria Enters; and Bayada hospice expert Melanie Miller answered questions about moving up to higher levels of care. From the response, it became clear that many people are curious about, and want to be proactive, in planning their care and choosing an agency for palliative and hospice services.
And finally, Wren Miller of Huff & Lakjer Funeral Home in Lansdale talked to us about why pre-planning your own funeral, or at least putting resources aside for others to plan it, makes a lot of sense. He also discussed the legal and practical side of “alternative” arrangements, like donating your body to science or scattering your ashes. (Did you know it’s illegal to scatter them in certain places?)
While the subject matters of these talks might make some people uncomfortable, those who attended the sessions saw the value in discovering how they can benefit from being prepared for the future. Because whether we like it or not, the future will come at some point.
So, former Boy and Girl Scouts, don’t fret! When you arrive on our doorstep, we’ll help you live up to that famous motto.
Until we meet…