June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at several senior living facilities about Legacy Planning. My actual presentations can vary because they are designed for the attendees.
At one senior living facility, the majority of the audience was individuals who lived there. They were a delightful group of seniors who willingly shared their stories about downsizing, moving, and distributing their possessions in order to accommodate their smaller living spaces. In those two hours, the stories ranged from the cost of assisted living to caring for pets to funeral arrangements. One gentleman talked about his dog and the joy of being able to have his pet with him at this particular …
senior living facility. This led to the Legacy Planning discussion about pets and who would care for his dog if he were to pass away before his pet. With our conversation now shifting to funerals, one woman shared her story about her brother giving her many of his personal papers including his DD214 when he became ill. She wasn’t aware when he passed away that she was in possession of his honorary military discharge papers which delayed his military funeral by several months until all the family could gather together again.
The audience at a different senior living facility was a small group of caregivers who had a loved one there. This presentation was focused on the challenges they face, especially those who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Many shared their stories and though some were sad to hear, there were also moments of laughter. One woman commented about our humorous discussion on dying and the fact that ‘sooner or later, we all run out of time’. After everyone had left and I was packing up, one gentleman stayed behind and asked me a couple of questions which I gladly answered. His wife has Alzheimer’s and no longer recognizes him or remembers the life they shared for so many years. I was honored to be listening to him talk about his family’s history, and his devotion to his wife.
In honor of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, I’d like to share the following statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association website:
- In 2018, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s; by 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
- 1 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia’s.
- These caregivers provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of care valued at over $232 billion.
- In 2018, Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s will cost the nation $277 billion; by 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.
Our mission at Strategic Hourglass Solutions is to educate others on the importance of Legacy Planning by starting the conversations on topics such as moving, downsizing, disability and death. “Because sooner or later, we all run out of time …”