Be prepared and apply your knowledge as you deal with the predictable hazards families face in coping with dependent loved ones. You’ll see how many families get into trouble and learn to find ways to avoid these problems yourself. You will learn about coping with health issues, finances, living arrangements, troubled family relationships, and finally dealing with the court system and the media.
6 Learning Modules
Over 40 Downloadable Aids
Over 100 Resources Links
Video 1: Starting on the JourneyConsidering that our society is aging, if you don’t already need the information in this course, you will soon.
Video 2: Family MattersWhy an academic knowledge alone isn’t the answer; how (and why) I got involved in this work
Video 3: Where?What does the word “home” mean to you? What does it mean to your loved one? Are these the same definitions?
Video 4: How Can You Plan Something So Indefinite?It’s hard to plan a budget if you don’t know, for sure, what’s going to happen. But you need to make a number of alternate plans for various likely scenarios, if you want your loved one to be safe.
Video 5: Deciding What’s Important—A Prelude to War?Now’s the time to make your lists of what’s truly important to you; your loved one should do that when fully competent. That’s the ideal. If there’s a clash of values, now’s the time to find it out so you can resolve disagreements in a way that’s agreeable to both/all involved.
Module 2: What are the Hazards?
Video 1: What’s Your Place in All This?Where do our current problems with guardianship fit into the historical context of guardianship? This module explains how the process becomes infinitely complicated when “professionals” get involved, why people go broke during retirement, and what the hazards may be of relying on outside agents.
Video 2: Preventing Immediate HazardsThe history of guardianship and why most elders go broke. “Classical” signs of dementia. Physical hazards to the loved one; potential legal hazards for you.
Video 3: When You Can’t Prevent TroubleDo you have Monday morning quarterbacks? What part might the state play in overseeing your caregiving? Do families or professional caregivers do a more efficient job of relieving more people of their money and possessions? Planning for emergencies.
Video 4: Relying on OthersIf someone associated with the courts decides your family is “imperfect,” it might be destroyed. How does court-imposed secrecy feed into this situation?
Module 3: Money and Possessions
Video 1: FinancesDo family members really have rights anymore? The great wealth transfer, from the Baby Boomers, is now in progress. Who is most likely to receive all this money?
Video 2: What’s a Nest Egg?If you lose your health, you are also likely to lose your wealth. Does the medical care most seniors need exceed what they’ve saved?
Video 3: What Recourse Do You Have?How much does it cost to manage a trust/investment account? Who is managing your loved one’s money? Does someone have a power of attorney?
Video 4: What about Passing on Possessions?A moral legacy might survive the loss of money. Smaller, meaningful gifts might get to their intended beneficiaries; larger bequests might be needed (and used) for your care, years earlier.
Module 4: Legalities
Video 1: Legal Matters (in General)The court system (and its various functionaries) play a huge part in this scenario. This module will take the 50,000-foot-high view of this terrain.
Video 2: Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Conservatorships and GuardianshipsWhat problems seem to exist when attempting to use the forms we have been taught avoid problems—powers or attorney, trusts, conservatorships, and guardianships?
Video 3: JudgesMany family members of wards believe that judges seem to have a distinctly anti-family philosophy that affects how they treat the wards’ loved ones, despite the fact that a far smaller number of rogue commercial guardians can abuse a far larger number of wards during any given length of time. Why?
Video 4: What Did They/Can They Make You Sign?Recent reforms have put an end to some personal representatives’ demand for blanket releases from heirs. What other restrictions can the courts or a guardian/conservator put on your freedom? Do they last forever?
Module 5: Caring for the Caregiver
Video 1: Emotional SupportCaregivers are especially prone to burnout; they must guard their own health to make sure their loved one also gets the necessary care. This video, and the ones that complete this module, offer ways to make it more likely that you will reach both goals.
Video 2: Caring for Yourself—RespiteMany methods exist to give yourself emotional support—everything from breathing exercises to making sure you laugh daily. This video explores a number of the most popular ways of relaxing in the face of adversity.
Video 3: Finding CommunityIf you are living under a gag order or a non-disparagement agreement, you have a lot of company. However, it’s dangerous to speak out about your grievances in public because you might be fined or jailed for contempt of court, or in fact punished for violating any agreement you might have signed. If you are still truly free to speak and meet with anyone you like, rejoice! You can join safely with others.
Video 4: Getting Advice from a SurvivorThere are different sorts of survivors. Some barely made it through. They are seriously emotionally scarred; their life may never reach anything approaching normal again. Some ended up bankrupt. Others managed to survive and thrive. Which group would you rather learn from?
Module 6: Counseling, Mediation, The Courts and the Court of Public Opinion
Video 1: Practical Steps at Opportune Times—The Family “Ideal”How the courts demand perfection from the family members of wards, and then punish the relatives when they turn out to be human.
Video 2: Before Trouble Strikes (Counseling)If you knew what was coming, what going to court experience was really like, would you try to head it off?
Video 3: MediationIn preference to spending years in court, and (at least) tens of thousands of dollars on legal help, would you try mediation? What if it’s already too late for that?
Video 4: The Legal RouteThe greater the underlying disagreements, the more complex the problem, the longer it will take and the more it will cost to resolve your issues. Even then, they might not all be resolved.
Video 5: The Court of Public OpinionWhen have you lost your own freedom of speech and association? What can you do to get your freedoms back? What if you get money but still don’t have your freedom of speech?
Over 40 Downloadable Aids, Including:
Journal—Track your progress and discover how easy it is to budget your time to finish the work, what you believe you still need to learn, and see how you’re progressing.
Comfort Ratings (You will fill this form out, at intervals during the course, to see where you are already feeling more secure and where you might still need a little more information)
Outline of the Course (All six modules, laid out for you)
Slides for Module 1 (Statistics for you on numbers of people under guardianship and complaints against guardians; general information about the course)
Guardianship Definitions Cheat Sheet (A set of definitions you might otherwise find confusing. What’s the difference between a “ward,” and a “protected person”?)
Self-Evaluation Questionnaire (At various times, as you take the course, you will stop and see how our attitude changes toward various topics.)
What Is Home? (What does the word “home” mean to you? To your loved one?)
SWOT Form (You will fill this out at various points, to measure potential threats and identify areas where you feel secure getting help or people from whom you can get help.)
Expense Categories (Knowing the categories provides a way to help you plan financial outlays)
Where are the Hazards? (assessing risk to your loved-one)
Questions about Values Documents (Six questions to help you assess your own degree of confidence in any document presented to you by any third person as your loved one’s wishes.)
Values History (An example of a printed form, for writing down what a person thinks is important in various areas of life. This particular form has been in use for almost twenty years.)
Outline of Module 2 (How the way guardianship develop has caused problems; why starting late creates trouble; why money vanishes and what about relying on others?)
Problems with the Probate (Four basic reasons—not related to illegal activities—why families feel emotionally buffeted by the probate/guardianship system)
Why We Are Having Problems (Eight reasons—ranging from demographics to regulatory issues and medical costs—why we have arrived at a state of confusion and frustration in dealing with caring for incapacitated people)
Slides for Module 2 (A short chart on the history of guardianship; how dementia problems might show themselves and some idea of how many different sorts of non-health professions who might now be mandated to report suspected dementia without fear of legal sanctions if they’re wrong.)
Major Categories of Concern (Ten Points to consider. Is your loved one in need of help?)
Who May Be Required to Report Suspected Dementia? (Nine categories of people often required by the state to report suspected dementia and two more who might also be able to do so.)
Some Reasons We’re in Trouble (Seven reasons why the money runs out while our elders are still alive.)
Become a Family Caregiver. (Eight matters to consider carefully before deciding to attempt to become an officially recognized “family caregiver”)
Does a Springing Power of Attorney Really Help? (Six short explanations of how the intention of a springing power of attorney must either be extremely clear or be frustrated by legal maneuvers)
What Must You Plan? (Eight things—ranging from DNRs and hygiene matters to emergency plans—to consider when attempting to care for someone else.)
Example of Infractions (Thirteen ways caregivers get into trouble, including administrative issues, quality of care issues, and anything your state might define as elder abuse or an illegal action.)
Slides for Module 3 (These range from Medicare-related issues to financial issues like inflation that erode an elder’s ability to pay the bills.)
The Big Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover (Six health-related expenses that tend to grow over time, and that Medicare doesn’t cover)
Potential Sources of Strife (Six of the most frequent reasons families can end up fighting when their elders need care)
Common Elder Frauds/Scams (Three of the most common elder frauds.)
Slides for Module 4 (The six most frequent complaints against commercial guardians; organizations that might help; the documents that have power over you)
Who Has the Power? (This chart explains who as the power—the person, the attorney-in fact, the trustee, the personal representative/executor, and for how long.)
Problems in the Probate (This expands on the prior “Problems in the Probate” chart to explain more about how the attitude of the court itself may be harmful to families)
Excuses Judges May Make (Four excuses judges make to avoid spending time judging guardianship issues—holding “evidentiary hearings” or allowing juries to participate in guardianship cases.)
Who Creates Documents and What They Can Do (Seven entities that might create legal documents designed to control your actions, and what sorts of penalties you might face if you violate their terms.)
What the Guardian May Do (Five actions a commercial guardian frequently takes that require the agreement of the judge but might go against the wishes of heirs/beneficiaries)
Ways to Moderate Stress (Ten methods many people have found helpful in moderating stress)
Slides for Module 5 (How everything from prayer and meditation to a change in perspective might help you cope with stress)
New Goals Workbook (A 4-week workbook with four exercises to illustrate how you have already experienced growth in the past, despite obstacles.)
Respite (A chart showing where respite and respite care are available, and who provides them)
Pros and Cons of Getting Organizational Support (Four areas in which you might want—or decide that you don’t want—to ask specific organizations for help with your loved one)
ULC Recommendations in Proposed New Guardianship Statute (In three major areas of your loved one’s life, the ULC recommends that the judge have the power to make the major decisions.)
Questions to Consider (Eight areas that often give rise to disputes.)
Slides for Module 6 (Steps relating to dispute resolution—from counseling to mediation to court)
These People Are Affected When Someone Loses the Ability to Function (Ten categories of people who might—depending on what the state’s laws say—have a say in what happens to your loved one.)
Points to Consider about Mediation (6 points about mediation before trying it in your specific situation)
Problems with Probate and Sequestered Guardianship Cases (Five issues that affect whether people want to keep their cases secret and how secrecy or an openness to public view might affect the results)
Potential Positive Aspects of Public Probate (Seven reasons why a public probate process might contribute to a resolution before the case goes to trial.)
Why Trusts Might Not Protect the Ward (Five ways in which trustees can be changed or trusts dissolved by the action of the court and against the wishes of the original grantor and his/her beneficiaries)
Bonus Download—Civil Rights Law Firms (A four-page report describing eight legal entities that often represent cases that they believe qualify in their specific areas of interest on a pro bono—i.e., free—basis.)
About Speaking Out While under a Gag Order (Five different areas in which violating a gag order may subject you to a judge’s punishment of fines or jail time, or to a suit by someone else, claiming slander or libel, and if you lose, there might be penalties there as well.
Guidelines for Submission to the Anthology (A 12-question outline for creating a description of your case, to be considered for inclusion in an anthology to be published by Dayspring Resources. The submission must follow the requirements in order to be considered.)
Over 100 Resources—these include the following links:
14 Links to Relevant Financial Information Websites
9 Links to Family Caregiving Information
7 Links to the Websites Discussing Judicial Performance
6 Links to Websites Relating to Involuntary/Emergency Guardianship
6 Links to Websites Dealing with Court Cases, Courts and Court Practices
5 Links to Websites Offering Self-Help Measures for Family Caregivers
4 Links to Commercial Guardianship Associations and their Websites
3 Links Specific to Dementia
3 Links Specific to Values
3 Links Specific to Gag Orders
3 Links Specific to Long-Distance Caregiving
3 Links to Websites Describing Various Federal Pensions/Benefits
3 Links to Definitions
3 Links Specific to Websites concerning Monitoring of a Guardianship Situation
3 Links to Websites Describing Methods for Having Difficult Conversations with Loved Ones
Additional links are provided for websites describing attempts to prevent members of the public from suing commercial guardians/conservators, devices to help with home care, caregiving standards, law firms, problems in the legal system, inheritances, Medicaid, defamation, emotional abuse, isolation, home care (in general), historical matters, trusts, activities of daily living, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and do not resuscitate orders.