The Later in Life Planning Show

by Patrick Cawley

The Middle Class faces specific threats in the later years of life. Long-term care expenses will attack and consume your savings. Know your threats and build a shield.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Decisions You Make. Decisions Made for You.

    Decisions You Make. Decisions Made for You.

    Certain decisions get made for you. How much control do you want over your life? If you know who you want to receive property from you when you pass away, you could make a choice and draft a will. If there are potential challenges that stand between you and achieving that goal, you can make different planning choices, probably involving a trust. People are walking around without making these choices for themselves. So the government makes decisions for them. Even for those who make decisions for themselves, the government still makes decisions that affect your future. A state budget was just passed that makes decisions about the resources that will be available if your health fails. Bottom line: know the system you are aging into, and know what decisions you can make for your family's circumstances.

  • Aging is a Legal Puzzle

    Aging is a Legal Puzzle

    When a former colleague called me from her nursing home bed, it was out of the blue. We hadn't spoken in years. The conversation covered a maze of legal issues. Here was a smart person being pressured by a non-attorney "Medicaid company" to sign an agreement for Medicaid planning. The Medicaid planning seemed to overlook important issues like my colleague's real estate and her goals for her estate. There are nursing facilities that partner with these "Medicaid companies" or directly tell residents that the residents do not need to hire an attorney. My colleague, and many like her, needed an attorney. Other aging adults need an advocate. What if a relative is using the power of attorney to steal money from your loved one? Should the relative with the power of attorney inherit any money when your loved one dies? If our long-term care system leaves you with no income and no money in savings, what should be the amount you get to keep for personal needs? These are legal issues that our state legislature has considered, but not resolved. Getting older is a walk through a legal maze while wearing a blindfold. Only a guide who knows that maze from beginning to end will be able to get you through it.

  • Dementia is Not an Insult

    Dementia is Not an Insult

    The 2024 Presidential debate and the commentary that followed was discouraging for many reasons. One of the more disturbing aspects of the experience was how casually and heartlessly people lobbed the words "dementia" and "elder abuse" as insults at political opponents. A person living with dementia is undergoing brain changes. Skills are lost, but their humanity is not. When famous people have experienced dementia in the past, a more productive and educational conversation followed. That's what this episode is all about: knowing more about the experience of dementia and how to support a person whose brain is changing. Dementia is simply brain change; it is not an insult.

  • Family Caregiving While Working

    Family Caregiving While Working

    When a co-worker announces that she will be taking maternity leave, there's a celebration. Of course her job is safe and there's a plan to cover for her while she's out. What happens when your Dad has a stroke and needs you for support and care? Employees are choosing in record numbers to retire early, pass up promotions, or find part-time work so that they can care for aging parents or spouses. Others cannot afford to stop working, so they burn the candle at both ends while juggling work and caregiving. While unpaid leave may be available at large companies, employers will have to get more creative with accommodating family caregiving responsibilities if they want to retain talent. This changing need of the workforce is growing against the backdrop of care facilities under great strain. This episode focuses on those who are still working while caring for an older family member.

  • A Trip to the Hospital...Then What?

    A Trip to the Hospital...Then What?

    Going to the hospital is relatively common in the later years of life. If you fall and break a hip, you may have surgery and be admitted for a few days. What happens next? Can you recuperate at home, or do you need skilled rehab? Will you need home health or a home care agency to help you in your home? Just because a physician prescribes a medication or orders follow-up care does not mean that your insurance will automatically pay for it. There are many questions that arise about the next step for you after your hospital stay. Fortunately, you don't have to anticipate challenges or find the solutions yourself. Social workers and care managers in the hospital will guide you along the way. In this episode, Andy Cruzan of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center explains how social workers plan the next steps for patients who will be discharged from the hospital. They navigate challenges relating to the patient's health status, less-than-ideal support network, and a larger health care system under strain. Social workers are the bridge from your acute care to your full recovery.