Today I learned about the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (“NICE”) and their Talk 2 NICE program.
NICE is an international network of researchers, practitioners and students dedicated to improving the care of older adults. Members come from a broad spectrum of disciplines and professions.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NICE is providing free outreach and counselling to older adults and persons with disabilities. Callers are able to speak to social workers or social work students. Talk 2 NICE can be reached toll free at 1 (844) 529-7292. Or, a time for a call from Talk 2 NICE can be scheduled on their webpage. The program can also be accessed over the internet by clicking on a link. Referrals for friends or family members are also accepted.
Callers have a choice of scheduling either a 15 minute or 30 minute “Friendly Check-In”.
The call is designed to help those socially isolated and lonely due to the current crisis. The service is also offered to caregivers. The trained volunteers will provide uplifting phone calls that respond flexibly to the needs of the caller, and will offer information about other available resource
Another excellent resource provided by NICE is a pamphlet entitled “To Stay Or To Go?: Moving Family from Institutional Care to your Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. The brochure discusses a number of considerations to be taken into account when considering whether to remove a family member from a Long-Term Care Facility.
Mental health should be top of mind during these unique times. This is particularly so for the elderly. The service provided by NICE is an excellent resource. Pass on this information to anyone who may benefit from such a call.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Call your mother (or anyone else you know who may benefit from an isolation-breaking telephone call).
Dianne Nice, an author for The Globe and Mail, wrote a piece on her experience in planning her estate. Her article, "Will Mistakes: I’ve Made a Few", focuses on errors that she encountered when creating her estate plan.
Ms. Nice states that while she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband decided it was time to draw their wills. Ms. Nice and her husband met with a local estate lawyer and instructed the lawyer to prepare two simple wills with their children’s welfare in mind. However, no consideration was given to the possibility that either her or her husband could become incapacitated. If this unfortunate circumstance was to occur, it would likely lead to several other legal issues. For instance, after speaking with a reputable estate lawyer, Ms. Nice learned that even though her husband and her were joint owners of their home, if her husband became incapacitated and did not name her as his power of attorney, she would not have the right to sell or refinance their home. Also, just because they are married, that did not mean she has the right to make financial decisions for her husband without a power of attorney or a guardianship order.
Other common errors that Ms. Nice pointed to were:
• Placing too much trust in your delegated financial decision maker
• Avoiding making a will by using beneficiary designations and joint ownership of assets
• Leaving behind a handwritten or will kit will instead of retaining professional assistance
• Neglecting to update your will as you enter marriage or a committed relationship
• Not updating wills to reflect the life stages of your children
• Trying to change your will by writing on the original or a copy of the will, or using too many codicils
The above errors should provide insight for consideration when we are considering our estate plan.
Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.