By Victoria A. Schmidt
Make time while you have the time
I’m talking legal matters here. The recent death of my husband reminded me that my will is out of date. I need to update my medical power of attorney, and take care of all that necessary paperwork that has been driving me crazy since he died.
May I pass along some wisdom? If a doctor does not honor your Power of Attorney, get another doctor. It could mean the difference between life and death.
Your USA will won’t help you here in Mexico if you own property. And don’t ask me. Find a Mexican attorney and ask them.
Go through your own pension programs and insurance policies NOW. They all seem to have web sites and will help you understand your insurance. Is it term life, whole life, a group policy? It makes a difference. Today I am reading through my policy and changing my beneficiaries to my son and his wife.
Make sure you have your own Mexican Power of Attorney who knows what you want in case you cannot speak for yourself. And make sure it is someone you trust to follow YOUR wishes, not their wishes.
Discuss your wishes with your doctor so that he/she is aware of your feelings. Choosing the right doctor for you is the most important decision you will make here in Mexico.
For those of you who have reached the point where you need assisted living, talk it over with your doctor. What will you need? Do you just need supportive care? Do you need hospital care? Make sure the place you are looking at has the ability to provide that kind of care.
Don’t ask me. Ask other friends, families and doctors who are more familiar with the care givers in the area. This is true north of the border as well. Also, make sure the patient-to-care ratio is adequate. And ask the owners of the home for the certificates of the nurses. Some nursing programs are well established and take years to complete. Others are six-week programs.
When inspecting a home, make sure you check out how clean it is and how often they do laundry. Look at the patients and see the quality care they are receiving. Make sure the cook can follow special diets. Do they advertise game days, events, etc. Ask them what they are and how often.
I have found exemplary examples of impressive care at Lakeside. I have found examples I would recommend. Again. Don’t ask me, go do your research on your own. Because no one knows your needs but you.
Some of the places have waiting lists. So, don’t put this off. Also: when you have selected a place, make sure you have a contract and read it through carefully.
Let your family and friends know of your plans. Once you’ve made your move, have them check in often.
There is the advice for the taking care of yourself.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com