As people age, the fears may become more and more real. Fears of dying surrounded by strangers in a healthcare facility or being strapped to medical machines that take away dignity and a sense of what makes life meaningful.
Last year, a clash between doctors and a young woman and her family culminated in an escape/abduction. The family framed it as an escape, the hospital as an abduction and reported it to local law enforcement.
In April, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation announced survey findings regarding opinions and experiences about end-of-life care and aging. In coordination with The Economist, they poled people in the US and three other countries.
When caregivers were surveyed, they reported that 37 percent of the seniors they worked with had fallen prey to financial schemes. Another frequently cited statistic is equally disturbing: only one in 44 cases of financial exploitation is reported.
No one can predict when a serious illness or injury will strike. A neighbor had a heart attack at 40 - she was fortunate to recognize the symptoms and get help. Another neighbor who just celebrated his 80th birthday is still recovering from a debilitating stroke.
Imagine that you have a family member that is getting very old, and as the years pass by, you can see that he or she just isn't as healthy as they once were. It is a slow, and unfortunately inevitable, decline. Watching them in a hospital bed, you can't help but wonder what they are thinking. Did they want it to end like this? Did they have protections and processes in place to dictate how their medical care should be handled if they become incapacitated?
Many people in Denver have probably heard the phrases "power of attorney" and "living will" before, but they may not known exactly what these phrases mean. For example, some people may think that a "living will" is the same as a "will," or that the "power of attorney" must be given to someone who is, well, an attorney.
Three Colorado sisters became co-trustees of a family trust when their mother received a diagnosis of dementia. They also had an equal vote when making decisions about her care. Disagreements about the sale of a home resulted in a legal battle. They could also not agree on an out-of-state trip with the mother to visit relatives.
The CNBC survey found that more than a third (38 percent to be exact) of families with significant assets did not have an estate plan in place. Why is this? In part, it is because even successful and business savvy individuals can conflate estate planning with tax planning.
This month, the Supreme Court will issue a landmark decision on the legality of same-sex marriage. Surprisingly, a Boulder city clerk issued the first same-sex marriage in 1975. A PBS documentary called “Limited Partnership” recounts the couple’s story and a strange twist that the federal judge who ruled on the legitimacy of their marriage for immigration purposes was Anthony Kennedy – now the swing vote on the nation’s highest court.