I live in New York, and as my parents became older, I felt I wanted to get ahead of the curve, to find someone near them in Florida to be a backstop, to help with transitions and to provide some continuity thereafter.
My mother and father completely split up their life chores. My dad did all the numbers and the math — the checking accounts, the record keeping, the correspondence — while my mother did everything in the home. After my father died, Michelle helped my mother figure out how to organize her self. She didn’t take over – she helped to educate my mother. Michelle is forward thinking – she laid out a budget, a plan for my mom, so she would not be in a stressed situation. Michelle is someone who understands how, oftentimes, people who write checks don’t thoroughly read bills, don’t read contracts, don’t really understand their rights with vendors, or credit card companies, or banks. Michelle will look at bills and identify problems in advance – she’s actually saved my mom some money.
It has worked out very well. Michelle not only provides the forward thinking, backstop support, but she has become a very nice addition to the family support system. Her style, her genuine connection with people and her empathy is very helpful. She has tremendous patience, a tremendous temperament, and tremendous skills at listening to elderly people. And she’s not bad with younger people, either!
She has taken away some of the stress, she has taken away some of the confusion, and she’s making life more predictable in the areas that we’ve asked her to get involved. As a child of elderly parents you never have full peace of mind, but Michelle is a critical component of getting you to closer to it.