A podcast that listens, hears, and offers wisdom & hope from caregivers who have lived the experience.

A Supportive Podcast for those Dealing with a loved one with Memory Loss

A Gift of Knowledge & Memories

A Gift of Knowledge & Memories

00:00:00 – 00:05:09

Our brains can be the best vault for keeping knowledge and memories but they can’t access this information. Many of us joke that it would be nice. If we could just download our brains we store vast quantities of data storage and memories. So how would we feel if someone came up with a solution to help us share what we’ve locked in our minds while there is no current option that allows complete sharing of the data in our brains. There is an option available. You’re going to want to know about collecting memories. In addition to vital information is one weighed our our loved one and reduce stress in the process. We are more than are vital. Statistics sharing our wisdom and memories are part of the human experience. Now you have an option for collecting storing and sharing all of what you know. This episode is brought to you by caregiver. Chronicles and eight week online course covering everything from diagnosis through hospice for more information. Use the link in the show. Welcome to fading memories. A podcast with advice wisdom and hope from caregivers who have lived the experience and survived to tell the tale. Think of us as your caregiver. Best friend with me today is doctor jimmy butler. She has a service call guardians gift. And we’re gonna talk about that today and why it’s important and wyatt something. We should all consider doing. Thanks for joining me judy. Thank you so much for inviting me. A big part of your community. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you so tell me a little bit about you and your previous caregiving history. Because i find that by ninety eight percent of my guests all have been caregivers in the past or still currently caregiving First of all. I am an ordained pastor and served in a local church but one of our local parishes as the pastor for senior adults so i worked with the senior adult community for over fifteen years. So i’m very familiar with that aspect of families and caregiving in that arena at least from an outside perspective as a pastor purse. Selena have been the secondary caregiver to my mother being primary caregiver for my dad who had dementia and began his declined. Somewhere around two thousand nine two thousand ten and As he progressed through the dementia mother of course they were both aging and mother began to have difficulties taking care of him. And you know the financial emotional physical aspects of that. So i began stepping in more. And more as we chilled. Adult children often do and And my dad passed the day after. Christmas on Two thousand eighteen. So he’s been gone. Two years this past christmas just now and da. I am now the caregiver for my mom who is eighty five. And she has macular degeneration and lots of physical ailments. She still does really whale. But i’m also a backup for my husband caring for his parents who were in their early eighties both of them and his grandmother who was one hundred one and So it’s a family affair if you will. We were looking after a lot of elderly aging family members. Why have you slightly. Beat my grandmother’s almost one hundred and three. Oh wait again grandma. You’ll be one hundred and three at the end of march so and shit. Her mind is still good but she’s mostly blind from glaucoma and very profoundly hard of hearing which those two situations don’t help your brain at all but still hanging in. There was how my husband’s grandmother a sharp as attack. She physically is declining and can’t get around well but she walks with a walker and she takes care of her own self. We have caregivers of course stay with her she sharp. She has really shocked by said they like her. When i grow up. I always joke and this is not not untrue. At all i totally inherited the fat gene from my dad’s side of the family and it is my paternal grandmother. That is still with us. So since it’s my mom’s side of the family. That has all of the brain issues. And i got the bad stuff from my dad’s fat hoping i at least got the the good longevity gene because my maternal grandmother lived to ninety one with vascular dementia. So yeah so there’s longevity. I just would like longevity. And memories understand you know my dad had vascular dementia and part of his was due to poor living choices.

00:05:09 – 00:10:01

Poor lifestyle choices. He smoked the entire time and You know a lot of that was due to on strokes that he had many strokes which directly related to his smoking. I feel like when my grandmother had an aneurysm that leaked three months her. She didn’t have the her lifestyle choices. Were pretty good. Based on the aneurysm happened in ninety six so we know a lot more now. Twenty five years later it. Yeah that sounds about right so you know she my grandfather. My maternal grandfather had a wicked sweet tooth. Which i also inherited. We know that sugar is not good for our brain so it’s not good for any part of it. Actually they’ve done scientific research to prove that Sugar that we all love dearly. Some more than others it has inflammatory properties it actually causes inflammation and makes our joints our muscles. Her makes our brain foggy so there yet. There’s there’s a lot that goes with sugar. But as we age what i’ve seen with all the senior adults and Myself included is that we tend to. I guess gravitate more and more and have a desire a larger desire for sugar. So it’s really tough as we age I had a lady who was a dietitian and they’re having trouble getting my dad to eat properly and she said look if i can get him to eat vegetables and has to put syrup on it in soviet like well i don’t think he’s gonna eight dab at But the whole her whole point was if you have to put sugar in everything to get him to eat then. Okay do know that. That’s the last taste that dies in you know as we age. I’m in trouble. ’cause i have a wicked sweet tooth. A a habit wrestled under control most of the time. If it gets worse as i as i’m a big term well it is a constant wrestling match that we have to stay on top of but if it ever gets on top of us we’re doomed santana’s very true. My mom was a huge hubel. I should drink two liters. Diet coke day. It’s and there was always candies around the and she broke more teeth on sticky candy than any one person should be allowed to do so it was definitely not good for her brain if she maintained her body weight without much exercise unlike me because i said inherited the fat gene so you know her. Eating was not great. My dad was a horrible horrible eater. Will he could have been satisfied with a fried hamburger. Patty mashed potatoes and corn or peas every night for dinner the rest of his life in we really get stuck in ruts as we age and in familiarity but part of it has to do with our changing tastes to think he was just really fussy. Me didn’t like or garlic or sauces. Or yes he didn’t take him too fancy restaurants because he didn’t appreciate it map and that was just who was his whole life. Yes so tell us about guardians gift. ’cause you you told me a little bit off line the other day and it sounds fantastic so we should just dive right in before we go off on this brain health. Well that’s part of the guardians gift is evaluating that but The guardians gift was born out of the struggles. That i went through caring for my dad and mom It started actually. I realized when i was sitting in the department of social services one day. And i’m sitting there looking round ahead an attorney that i had hired sitting with me and the whole purpose of me being there was to get dad or keep dad in a nursing home because mom couldn’t look after him anymore. She couldn’t physically mentally financially or emotionally care for him and said he was in a nursing home and the department of social services. I don’t know if your listeners are aware but if you go into a nursing home and your finances are limited or nonexistent even if you unknown anything they won’t to You to sign that over to them to help offset the cost and so when that was presented to my mother is an option to pay for dads nursing home bill. My mother was like no. There’s no way because i have worked my entire life. This is all i have and i.

00:10:01 – 00:15:01

I’m not gonna give my house and of course she’s looking at it a little sideways but Long story short. We put the house in a trust. A lot of people don’t understand about trusts and wills and things like that. In the guardian skiff helps them with that. But we put the house in a trust and we were able to keep dad in a nursing home. We had to have a hearing. I had to hire an attorney one year. I spent thirty five thousand dollars of my own retirement money to help look after my parents and these are things that people find an. I hear it all the time that when you become a caregiver you start out with small things may be you go the grocery store. Maybe you pick up a medication but eventually somehow it begins to creep up and we find that we’re spending more and more money but as i sat there that day i was looking around and i thought you know. Fairly intelligent woman had a doctorate degree. I can afford hire an attorney to sit here with me. You know what about these other people that are here and i thought nobody should ever have to go through. All the red tape headaches all the misery and suffering that. I personally went through looking after my parents thought you know what i gotta do something. I have to create something that will help. People be more organized. Be able to make decisions sooner earlier in the process and get things organized and prepared so that their family members don’t have to go through. So would dad passed away on the day after christmas. I found myself standing at his casket. I couldn’t even cry. I was so tired. I was exhausted. I was worn out from the mental stress. The financial stress the emotional turmoil roller coaster. And i thought this is not happening. I can keep anybody else from going through the That’s what’s gonna be. So i created the guardian skift It’s an a to z. it’s a comprehensive. It has got so much detail in what it is. The service is it. We started out helping people tell their stories. People don’t like to talk about death and dying. Zero people are very superstitious. And they think if they talk about it. It’s going to happen. Well i got news for you is going to happen anyway. This is true well talking about won’t bring it on sooner so we talk about it upfront and we prepare and we get everything done organized and taking care of our front than it really is such a relief to family members on the back end a start people out i get them to start telling me their stories at where were you born. Tell me about your childhood and we just collect the stories along the way with documentation. The documentation is the birth certificate. It’s diplomas it’s certificates rewards. They’ve earned its pictures so we collect all that going through the process. Until i get to the point where they currently are in life and the guardians gift actually covers and helps people of different categories and age groups so wherever they happen to be at the moment then we began to to pivot and look towards the future and i asked the questions like what happens if you get sick. Who’s going to pay your bills if you’re alone or if your partner or spouse has some sort of health condition or dementia that they’re dealing with what’s going to happen and who’s going to pay those bills and a lot of people don’t understand that there are so many financial regulations that their chilled adult children and or whoever they want to be their power of attorney cannot access certain things unless it set up a specific way. So i help people understand how that works in what it looks like And it’s not sometimes it’s not simply enough to have their name on your checking account. That may seem like a simple answer. But it’s a little more complicated because the federal government gets involved have rules and regulations which dad had thought about that because his donated kidney was failing and he did not want to go. Back to allison’s which i understood and i accepted that. Tell anybody that he was at the point that he needed to be on dialysis and we should up at his house and he thought this was in twenty sixteen he thought it was nine hundred ninety eight and the only reason that we got any kind of access to their finances is my My dad is was a rotarian. My husband and i are rotarians. My dad’s financial planner was a rotarian.

00:15:01 – 00:20:01

My husband worked in banking for twenty years prior to real estate. And he was. He’s been through this with clients in the banking world and so he called financial planner and basically told him what was going on and it was probably not the most kosher route but it kept kept things going and it was one less crisis for my sister night to deal with because that is. I’ve known my husband since nineteen eighty-seven holy hell. How best has been so long. It sounded strange. And he’s been dealing with baking for me since basically like nineteen eighty-eight so or maybe even eighty seven. We met in february. So yeah i just. I don’t like banks if i could put my money in the mattress and pay online. So you know it’s not just to protect you but it also keeps squabbles. From happening i would hope and so. That’s that’s something else out. I’ll speak about that in just a second. So that person gets to a particular place in the process of the guardians gift we actually looked to the future and i started asking those kinds of questions. You know what’s going to happen and your example is wonderful. That is just absolutely wonderful. Because most people don’t know those things you’re you’re very fortunate to have someone in banking and a lot of people really don’t understand so when they get it explained to them and conversation that they can understand they’re like oh okay we’ll let me take care of that and it’s simple if you do it on the front end But what happens is they wait till they’re in a crisis and then they try to fix. It’s a lot more headache. You problems so astorg asking the questions will if you were to. you know. End up in the hospital ornate to get to a nursing home or have long term care of some sort. How are you prepared. So look at their financial situation. I look at their physical situation. Ask questions about their physical health. I have a degree in medical laboratory. And so i worked for thirty five years. My first career was in hostile. So i’m very familiar with the terminology. The lab test results. All of the jargon. If you will so i help them. Sort through that and we actually talk about. What is your prognosis going forward. You know if you’re eighty years old and you’ve already been diagnosed with dementia. If you’re in a moment where. I can’t have that conversation. What would you like to happen going forward because it’s not going to get better. Let’s let’s just be honest. And i have to have that honest conversation. And this is i’d like to take the second sorta step to the side here about conversations because that’s one thing that i do help people and families with adult children sometimes. Don’t want talk about mom or dad and their condition and them dying. What’s going to happen but the reverse is also true sometimes mom or dad or whoever wants to talk about it or doesn’t won’t talk about it so i hope people and families have those conversations and sometimes we have to talk about the family member who is the quote unquote black sheep and or may be has an addiction problem. Or maybe there’s some other issues. Maybe they’re just ahead mental or behavioral health issues. So we talk about those kinds of things and we put that on the table for the family to actually grapple with and if you grapple with that russell with that on the front end we can take care of putting things in place. You don’t have to deal with it on the back end so this is about being prepared ahead of time. Actually help people go through and create the their end of life service We talk about options and what that looks like and what they’d like to have happened so many adult children come to me especially when working with a family where someone’s deceased and i’ll say okay. Let’s play in the service. I’ll say what kind of music you know. Where are they going to be buried. What’s gonna happen. Are they going to be cremated and the children are like. I wish they had planned this out. I hate having to decide this. I really don’t know and so if if it’s a gift that’s what it’s called the guardians gift if you will do this ahead of time. We actually go all the way. Adc i get passwords. Pin numbers account numbers. Everything goes toward creating a book and put the book together or they put the book together and then we present it to the entire family or whoever they want to and We sit down and talk about.

00:20:01 – 00:25:04

What’s in it that way. People were all on board there. They know what’s going to happen. They know what this person wants and It’s just really amazing. It’s really a lot of fun a lot. Hearing the stories people love telling the stories and when they start talking about their death and their end of life service than the family members include. We kind of joke about it. A little bit and people say i’m best stand up in the corner. Just you know we’re going to have you bombed and pushing the corner and or the grant the parent will say well. I’m gonna come back and haunt you. We kind of joked about that. Sounds like what my mom would say. My my dad. Basically well he planned he got a. He was super frugal which is fine. And i’m not a big person. On actual i’m much more accepting cremation than burying. Somebody paternal grandfather has a lead lined coffin. You know in the cement lined hole. It just doesn’t seem quite right to me and you know land in california is precious inexpensive. So i i joke well i. We’ve all decided to be cremated. But i’m like you just ball me up and make me into the tree that’s a. That’s a new thing which my daughter would consider. So that’s kind of up to her. But we’re not gonna do. Burials but my dad planned out his cremation and he had in the military cemetery which was probably cheaper than other cemeteries because he’d been in the marines for four years and then it was like my husband and i planned it with because he’d been in Four different rotary clubs. We had each club bring their banners and they’re like for by six feet so they’re quite large because no i grant my dad. Didn’t need a whole bunch of flowers and that’s expensive and it wasn’t him and in going through his paperwork. We found the obituary that he wrote for himself. Which i laugh because it was very lengthy. My husband tried to edit it down. It was still a thousand dollars to run it in the paper. Yeah my oh it was. It was huge. It was at least it was a full eight and a half by eleven piece of paper timed out so but he was nice. ’cause i i was like am i even know where to start with that a pretty good writer and i opted not to do one for my mom because i felt you know the people that needed to know knew and had i known that you know nearly a year later. We still can’t do a service for her. Thanks to the insane pandemic. i probably would’ve. She was in optimists. The women’s service organization and they sent out a newsletter and there was all kinds of information so it was like a quasi obituary then there for her. The finding my dad’s obituary was such a relief. And then i don’t know why my husband took to editing. But that’s what happened and it really is a benefit and then my paternal grandmother who’s almost one hundred and three meyer. Her husband my grandfather. They planned out everything and he passed away in nineteen ninety seven. So it’s been it’s been the what plans have been in the works for a very long time right seven. Sounds like a long time ago. Two and then the one conversation we didn’t have with my dad was i found out after his mind was in a different decade is that he he thought my mom would just come live with me and that was never discussed which i’ve talked about a lot because you know i had just turned fifty. My daughter had finally moved out so it was like no not. I’m not interested in spending the next ten to fifteen years of my life dealing with my mom now. If i’d known it was three years. I might have had a different opinion. I don’t know it’s hard to know. Conversations are extremely important. And that’s one thing that i i talk about on social media and on the podcast i talk about it everywhere. So that’s why. I like what you’re doing because it sounds sounds more enjoyable will. It’s really you know people. When i say that i helped with end of life planning people go. I’m like no it’s really. We talk about all the stories. And you know when i ask. Well how did you meet your spouse or and they tell they just a mmediately go right into that time period they start telling me about their their i love or their first kiss or And they talk about their jobs and those are the things those memories and i know your podcast is fading members but those things are the ones that people would pay a fortune to have and they have lost them us when that person dies they die with them and so unlike you know this is so important to me. This stories at my dad told me about his life and the stories that i will leave for my children and grandchildren.

00:25:04 – 00:30:15

And i’m really a huge genealogy fan. I love doing genealogy. It’s a hobby of mine and so when i go looking for information and find a little tidbit of a letter or a story somewhere it just makes it more real you know brings that person and i think that’s part of what our eternity is about is about being remembered and our story told at some point so it’s is just amazing you know there’s a lot of areas that we look at the guardians gift a look at their physical as i said and we talk about their health their physical in terms of where they’re living in what that looks like and whether they need to move. Into something downsized store closer to love ones or into an assisted living or into a nursing home. And how much that cost so we look at the financial part you know. The cost is huge. There was a study done in two thousand thirteen and of course as for almost eight years. Now that’s excel like that long ago but it is. Yeah it cost four hundred and seventy billion with a b billion dollars for the unpaid care. I’m talking about care. That family members give for caregiving. that is bigger than all of the money. Paid for medicaid in that same year and it matches walmart budget. Four hundred seventy seven billion dollars. That’s a lot of money you know and the other thing is that we look at So there’s the physical fiscal the money. We also look at The logical you know what is it. What is it logically like what’s going to happen. We’d be try to be realistic than we look at. The organization is all their things organized. All my mother told me. And i’m the oldest child and i always knew i’d be the one who would have to do obvious being the oldest especially a female mom said you know esto said the top drawer and the chest in there so i went in there and i opened the jet chance drawer. Oh okay i’ll do this later. Took drawer And part of an isn’t you know everything was in there except that it was just a big jumble. So i actually have gone through an organized it so the guards gift does that for everybody. It organizes it in a fashion. That is straightforward. It’s easy it makes sense. It flows from birth to death. You know exactly where to look for Who to call you know. People don’t think about that. Don’t do we call aunt susie. That lives in nebraska. Maybe we didn’t had her number. I don’t know that you have her number. Who has her number. How do we reach. Suzy in nebraska. But it’s it’s amazing so it’s just organized so we look at that and then we look at the spiritual as a pastor. One of the things is important. I served as a chaplain for five years in the hospital. So i sort of all faiths systems so i can talk with any one about eighty of their faith or not faith some people have no fade but we talk about it and a lot of people especilly towards the end of life and or with a medical diagnosis. Let’s terminal. i had the ability to work with them around. What does that mean for them. What is it what are they thinking. How do they feel about that. And this is the tom. That families are bad difficult town discussing that. So there were looking at the psychological family systems. The dynamics it exists in families and we talk about all of that you know as the oldest and being a female. Let me just say. Seventy five percent of all caregivers are female Alzheimer’s and dementia affects women. More than always amazes me like my support group is while it’s not quite as big as it was when we can meet in person but we’d have upwards of twenty five people and probably twenty two twenty three of them would be women and when you know that two thirds of people living with alzheimer’s or women it’s like this is sort of backwards but i don’t think men seek out assistance as much as they should. I know my dad. Didn’t he didn’t even accept it from my sister. And i much now. I suggested that his because his chronic illnesses and he didn’t have a lot of patients ever when you don’t feel good and somebody’s asking me the same freaking question fourteen times. It’s very difficult to be. Keep keep calm. And he didn’t manage that very well. And so i was. I had strongly encouraged him to to enrol mom in the adult day program and i did all the research talk to them and i felt like it was a good thing for both of them and i could not even get him to go meet with them and i know from after he passed away and my mom was memory care.

00:30:15 – 00:35:05

That was the one thing my mom did. She wander around and talk as she had friends and memory care. They’re all name diane. Which was kind of crazy. Diane my mom we had other day and then for a while we had other other day. It was confusing enough for those of us. Who don’t have problems with our memories. Those poor ladies it was. It was very difficult to ask my mom. Where’s your friend diane. I’m diane. I know the other knew it was like that Laurel and hardy. Who’s on first. Yes yeah it was. It was a lot like that. And i just i never understood why part of it was. It was probably about six or seven miles away and you had to pass like four schools to get their st- so i guess maybe mornings when a good thing for them anymore. I don’t know. I never got a rational. I don’t wanna say excuse but ever got a rational thought as to why he didn’t wanna do it. And i know it would have been really good for her and it went would have been good for him too but he. This was like nope. Not going to mike. Okay it will drag you there again threatening both of them there so while i really encourage people the sooner the earlier that these conversations began the earlier. This planning happens It actually provides a sense of control for senior adult. Because if they can actually have a say and what they want or don’t want and how they would like their lives to go forward. It really truly provides that dignity that so many people are looking for either from the adult children for their parents and or from the senior adults themselves And what happens is alana times. I run into situations where the adult children are in denial about what’s going on with their parents and so they say they will are. I don’t want to try to tell them what to do. And i want them to have control and to have dignity. And i’m like yeah may too but there’s also a safety factor there’s also You know not only safety for them and their body and their mind. But there’s also safety around scams money and you know if we take care of those things and if you do it early enough and the senior adult whoever this is four does this early enough. Then you can put those things down and if you know everything’s digital today but i still like paper and if you write it down and it’s in black and white and they sign it then you kind of have an idea that that may be what they meant. Maybe they minute in time but you know at least you have an understanding of what they were thinking and how they were feeling and that so so important. The thing about the guardians gift. That’s interesting that way is because a started this in two thousand eighteen after it had passed or two thousand nineteen actually early because of covid i had to pit and so it is online. People can access it. There’s three different levels of it The base level very Smallest package that that people can they can do it themselves and they can just go online and answer. The questions are still in the blank forms. And you know you just answer the questions and when you it god you and when you get to the end if you’ve done all the steps that it provides for you you end up with everything documented. You end up with pictures in everything you need and you can put it in a book for yourself so there is a do it yourself version but some people really want some help and they need a little extra help and so i have curation gods that actually you can make an appointment with and they will guide you through the whole process and they will work with you until you get it completed and then of course there’s a top end where you could work with me one on one and that’s a whole different animal altogether but the thing about the do it yourself that i think he’s cannonade. That suggested to several people is for the adult child to actually do it and they actually asked the questions of the senior adult and they fill in the questionnaire for them and that way they had this beautiful absolutely wonderful opportunity to sit with them and actually collect the stories and do it for them. So it’s a family function A grandchild could do it with their. You know their grandparents. Of course i’m talking about an older grandchild But to sit down and actually because a lot of the seniors are not technologically savvy.

00:35:05 – 00:40:02

Scott better after after twenty twenty. That’s for sure because of you know having to do this thought well we need to put it online so it is online. Now on february the fifteenth. Right after thank you say we’re going to air you’re gonna ear this on the ninth so the eeriness this on the night but on february the fifteenth. I’m actually going to be leading class. I’m going to do my own guardian ski up in front of everybody so they can see how to do that so interested in being part of that they’ll need to contact me. Let me know that sounds wonderful. I love the idea of like a teenage grandchild going through the questionnaires with their grandparents. Because we all know it teenage years you really want hang out with their grandparents especially if they’re not you know kinda with it which and i just think that’s a real. That’s a beautiful gift to give each other. That’s a really fantastic suggestion. And having all of these questions answered for yourself. Like if i was the senior and i knew i had all all this all the ducks in a row as my dad likes to say it takes a huge burden and a bunch of stress off of you and we know it stresses toxic for our bodies and our brains. There’s a good thing and it also takes a lot of stress off the family. You don’t have to worry about this stuff. You don’t have to argue at the sibling. And i don’t know how i don’t think i’ve told this story too often. But my dad was a retiree of the phone company and we went to cancel his cell phone because obviously after he died. He didn’t need it and my mom couldn’t possibly manage cell phone at that point in her stage of alzheimer’s and so i call and i have a death certificate handy and we have the electronic faxing capabilities because my husband is a real estate broker and so i call up and say you know that he’s passed away. I need to to cancel his phone service all. I’m very sorry to hear that. Can you give me his pin. No i cannot. Oh okay so we. I had to go through three people four or five times telling them he died like a good thing. I’ve got like kind of a tough shell because having to repeatedly tell the phone company that my dad died he died. He ninety nine ninety nine. It’s like come on people. Let’s give them a little cruel. Oh and then we had to go to the actual. At and t. store to handle cancelling it will so frustrating and it took an hour plus the phone calls. It’s like this was one of those things that’s very traumatic and people need to understand that you know when you somebody you love dies. Even if you know what’s coming it still trauma you know as psychotherapist. It’s addio with people and trauma all the time and so when every time you have to repeat it. You’re reliving that trauma and dull. Does it just takes. It just breaks. Your heart makes you angry. It’s frustrating and it induce stress that none of us need so if that can be handled you know and you pull out the page the bulk and you open up your guardians gift and there’s a page with all the pin numbers passwords in everything listed on. How great is that. I mean you hear we gotta. This is it and says stating passwords. Because i my something one of my passwords. I got notification that this has been found on the dark web okay. That doesn’t sound. Good as i’ve had to change you know some some online websites and financial institutions. Got to change your password regularly so that almost needs to be like a quarterly check ins like which password using for which places as i must. I have multiple ones now. And if my computer didn’t remember them i’d be in trouble. Yeah hey i understand. I hope nobody ever gets hold on my computer. Because i use it for business and everything and speaking the pin numbers and passwords. I must have five hundred different ones. You know for all the different business things that i do. So it’s important. Sometimes if i didn’t write them down. I could remember them things. That are their personal. But they’re not necessarily easy to guess right so and you know i had to go away from the easier and now they want like the symbols and a guy that drives me bananas. Because that’s the that’s the piece. I always forget so but it is important because we have a friend whose father passed away many many years ago. Nobody has the password to his facebook page and every so often something pops up from his dad’s facebook paid like his dad pops up on facebook. Even those dad’s been gone. It might be close to ten years now.

00:40:02 – 00:45:00

Yeah and he just kind of says. That’s my dad’s way of stopping insane. Hello but you know if you’re having a really bad day or there’s some other trauma going on in your deceased parent up on facebook but might not be such a pleasant experience. So and i know it’s easier now than it used to be but it’s not easy to get facebook to if you don’t have the password. They won’t do anything with the page. So right it’s there’s a lot of digital things we need to keep track of these days all digital things one of the things. That’s nice about the guardians gift is For the top two levels. We actually gave you a on a flash drive with everything on it so And the the bottom the do it yourself version. I encourage people to put it off flash drive and so that it can be updated periodically as needed. The stories will remain the same. Most everything on there will be the sign for a long long time but the pin numbers and passwords. At least there somewhere and you know it’s in one location I think for me. The biggest thing is to have things where i don’t have to go look for everything i know when dad passed the one thing. I couldn’t van the very one document that i needed. Pretty quickly for his funeral. Was his discharge papers from service yet. I was like okay. Mom where’s it. She listen that drawer will. It wasn’t in that drawer. Actually you know we had to find it and it was. That was a thing. So there’s always something. And so i try to make sure that i cover all those cases for people and i ask all those questions I know i was working with a man who had stayed for cancer and he’d been married before his wife had been married before and so a lot of times when people get remarried and fifty percent right divorce in this country and remarriage They don’t update things. They don’t keep things current so that’s another way that that i help people with that. But when he passed away and he. His family opened his guardians gift book. They were like what wait it now. All this stuff about him. We didn’t know that he was a drum major for the bank and in college we did not know that he was in this organization and that organization and held leadership positions. We didn’t know along these things and so even the funeral home said god. I can’t but where did this come from. Who did this. This is awesome. So it’s really amazing. How detailed it can be one of the things you know because i- maternal great grandmother my maternal grandmother and my mom all had memory loss at the end of their lives. It’s amazing how much family history is missing one of my new year’s goals because we’re supposed to move again sometime in twenty twenty. One is to go through all of the photographs that i collected from my parents house after my dad died and go through them with my mom’s youngest brother. Because i know. I mean that’s obviously one of two sides of the family and i don’t want any more history to get lost because you know we don’t take the time to do that so he and i have a quasi date to do that. He knows of like. She passed away in march. We sold their house in july. And i told him. I was going to do this. So right before thanksgiving. I texted and said you know i haven’t forgotten. Let’s just take care of it like after the beginning of the year. So that’s our plan you know and it’s and it should be. I think it’ll be kind of fun. So i might have to get the do it yourself kit and start filling it out because i don’t want to lose any of the anymore family history. Yeah one of the things is kind of. You’re talking about pictures kinda spurred something. Maybe remember one of the things that we do is. I encourage people and at the top end of vis that i do for people is they have heirlooms and they have know jewelry and things. That don’t necessarily go in a wheel and are not specified so actually helped them get pictures of the items and get them evaluated and get them priced out what their value is. I actually encouraged them to go ahead and put names on those things and listed in their guardians. gift book that keeps down all the squabbles at the end But it’s it’s a neat thing to do because then when they’re going through at like your tom going through the pictures then you can actually san jose what this memory is where this came from this particular to say a buffet This buffet belong to great great grandmother and it was brought over across the plains to you.

00:45:00 – 00:50:01

Know to california on a covered wagon or whatever The story is but it is neat to have a picture of the item and to have the value of the item as well as the story of the item and then who gets the item because surprisingly sometimes in families somebody will inherit something and it really doesn’t mean as much to the the senior adults trying to recognize them in some way but then there’s another family member this oh i really like that. Well then you can gift it to them and say well. Here’s the story. Here’s the picture and the history smart lost. That sounds really nice. So am i so. Let me encourage you that when you go through the pictures mites my wisdom for you today is they sure to go ahead and label the picture with a date with the people who are in it because so many times you’ll pull out a picture and there’s people there and you know some of them but you i bet is and so label the pictures. That’s real or use a sharpie not ballpoint pen. That’s my photographer. Voice speak team right. And i’ve done that with my own personal photographs because i am a very organized person and my mom and my grandmother were not my maternal grandmother. And that’s why i have. Hundreds of photographs were recognized. I think that’s my maternal grandfather that’s my paternal grandmother. That’s also how. I confirmed that i inherited the fat gene families story that i think it was my dad’s great chance we’re fat ladies in the circus and there is a photograph. It’s an eight by ten sepia tone photographs that should be holding. Sepia tone is brown and white. And it’s i think about six people three or four women. So i think it’s like four women to men unfortunately very very large people and they’re definitely in what looks like behind the scenes circus situation. Which is you know now. We’re at twenty twenty one. That’s really horrible. But this was like this was probably back in the nineteen and so we’ve come a long way since then. I’m glad we don’t mock people and put the quit overweight people in the circuit. That’s but this beautiful and i’ll have to get with. I my aunt or maybe my dad’s youngest brother and go through those photos. But that’s a little trickier but all sides of the family. Mike my grandfather and my mom. Her dad did some genealogy and they ran into an issue with a should be my time. Great-grandmother was allegedly native american. And my daughter and i did the twenty three amid dna test. And there’s no native american dna. So i’m not really sure. Got to connect those two dots. Or somehow i don’t know. I don’t know if the dna. I don’t know. I mean it wasn’t that long ago that they did that where they were doing the family tree. It was like in the late nineties. Which of course nafta but native americans didn’t have government papers so made sense that they ran into this road block. And i don’t know my sister who said i was the mailman baby. Though i’m the oldest of the was never know there might be. They always tell you. When you do the dna test to be prepared for a surprise and i was very anxious being blonde and sunburn at the drop of a hat. I was like. I will laugh myself silly if there are you know. African dinna in our family. Not only is there not. It is all white people which was a surprise like seriously this family. Now i’m a little cure him a little more curious a little scared because it’s all british western european predominantly scotland which might ads families. Name is graham’s that’s not a surprise but it was like how can you have only white people. That’s just insane. I am like you on very very pale. Very wide burner easily blue eyes but we have some pretty deep. African american roots our family and so my mother was like whoa. And i forget i guess what. Dna dead lie. That’s pretty pretty drastic. Eventually mixed some of my cousins in that in that rain on we might redo it and add my husband and do the medical part of the genetics. We’re just talking about that the other day but yeah it’s just very fascinating and these are all the stories that we we appreciate the more i find as we age.

00:50:01 – 00:55:04

I had a project for twenty twenty soccer listening to a podcast and people remember. I’m also photographer. And they were talking about postcards and like their unique place in history and in our personal history and then i was thinking about social media which is kind of like a modern day postcard for daily life and my brain. Click those two things together. Mike i should do like just a little scrapbook of like what daily life is like not every day because every day is not that interesting while holy talino. I picked the right year to do. Yes you did. So it’s it’s interesting to kind of see like here is how daily life works in twenty twenty when we had to stay home all the time. And there’s you know there’s a lot of dogs but it’s like you know used to go to the gym and now we work out at home and there’s pictures of me you know doing a workout with dog attached to the dog toy and it’s just like because she wants to play and you know it’s just and my husband using wine bottles because you can’t buy dumbbells right now because for whatever reason those are a pandemic scarcity. It’s just it’s and i know and i’ve gone back and read parts of it already. I know in twenty years when my daughter is fifty am choke. It’ll be so fascinating and it’s like it’s this piece of history it’s my history and but it’s also this piece of history of what happened in twenty twenty so it’s been a fun little project. Even though i had the document my mom died in the oldest dog died. That’s all part of our natural our lives but it’s been it’s just crazy so now i’m going to do it every year and hopefully twenty twenty one won’t be so strange. You’re making a wonderful point. Because i i was telling somebody that the other day i said you know somewhere down the road. My great grandchildren are Will look i was telling my grandchild is. I said your grandchildren are going to look back at you and say you. May you live during the pandemic. Wipe back the of course they were like. I’ll may may stop there. I’m telling you it will happen. So this is important you know. And also you made an another really good point to that everything is digital. Everything is facebook everything. We don’t even our pictures we take with our phones and we don’t print them out like we used to but i again i in the guardians gift i encourage people to have an actual picture that is in the book so that when their family members look at it. It’s it’s just different holding that picture in your hand somehow. I don’t know it’s really good back to the photographer hat years and years ago when digital was pretty much fully adopted but still new so mid the mid early. Two of amid ‘oughts there was a professional article on. What was the best way to archive your digital photographs. Do you keep them on the memory card. That goes in your camera which at that point would have been a very expensive option. You put on the gold cds which. I’m not even sure they have anymore. Do you put them on. Dvd’s there was a bunch of options and the conclusion with these photographic curator’s professional photographers. You know like people like from nat geo and that that type of level and wedding photographers was the best. Way to preserve your. Your photograph is to print them. And i’m not talking about on your home printer because those will fade to actually send them to a place that runs them through the chemicals. Which i i’m kind of not re read my life of chemicals but that’s the only place at this point that i think they’re getting better with the ink on the paper that doesn’t go through the chemicals but yeah print them because if i had a client who’s phone got stolen and she hadn’t backed them up. Lost a ton of photos. I took my. I went to jamaica for my fiftieth birthday now. My professional camera has to card slots one it shoots on and one is a backup but it’s big and bulky and heavy and so. I rented a camera that i thought i could put in the bag on my bike because this was a bike trip across the island of jamaica in it wasn’t quite that small and we were there was like a a week term anywhere there. We’d like two or three days left and the memory card died. So i’m like okay. You know. I know what i’m doing. I put it in. Its little plastic. Case so i will run the recovery software when i get home. Recovery software did not work. Because what happened. We’re talking the little tiny quarter inch by half inch card right right.

00:55:04 – 01:00:07

The control panel on the car died. Oh so being close to silicon valley. I did call. I did contact some professional photographers. That i knew that did recovery. And one guy’s like well if you haven’t done anything to probably be a couple hundred bucks mail it to me and i’m like No i don’t think. I want to put this in the mail so my husband drove it to san. Jose says about a little over an hour away from where we live to a basically a digital data recovery company fourteen hundred and fifty dollars all my goodness. Yeah it very expensive will stupid card. And i and i have sworn ever since then i will not use a quote unquote. Real camera did not have two cards in it. Wow yeah i mean they got probably ninety percent of them they most of them but not all of them so innocent. They have to take the little. Td card apart replace the controller panel download and decrypt the information and then put those files someplace else and then they have to re encrypted. It’s like koets lena. What a headache. So prints your pictures people that way. You don’t have to learn the ins and outs of digital data recovery and put them in your guardians. Gift book said it’s real have him. Yeah and i think once you know you could keep them on your phone and you could you know. There’s all kinds of ways to print them. So i’m actually gonna take my little twenty twenty scrapbook is. It’s only like a six by nine book but it doesn’t close at all anymore because it’s got actual photographs in it and i’m going to recreate it and have it printed digitally and professionally but i’m gonna keep the original special. It is special is under so since we’re recording this on new year’s eve twenty twenty. I’ve been thinking about what the last page of the book is going to say. I might wait a couple more days and see how today rolls out but you know this has been a year. I think these ranges year to start documenting lately but is so important. And i like i said at some point somewhere down the road. Somebody’s gonna say. I am so glad jennifer faint recorded this and has these documentation about what daily life was like for twenty twenty. You know what you made me. Think since i will technically have two copies of it. I won’t donate the original to our historical society and here in town. Oh that’s awesome definitely gonna write that down so i don’t late interesting is our rotary group. A rotary club went to online meetings on march twenty. Third i know that because it’s written down on the book with a little photo little screenshot of our little meaty. So that’s why the guardians gift is. That’s exactly it’s written down in the book all the directions all the faults all the hopes and wishes in what we won’t happen someday. Somebody will look back on it go. So that’s what they did during the patch. That’s what twenty twenty life look like in a typical suburban town in. You know a major country know california’s its own country right now. Now in a state there we go okay. And that’s the history. I like is like you go see the tools that the victoria with us in the kitchen. You think you’ll guy glad. I have my power tools in the kitchen. But it’s fascinating all the war in history government stuff. That’s not my thing. I like the daily life. And that’s why i started recording it so this has been fantastic. Is the perfect way to end the year. He’s a yeah. I appreciate that and everybody can click on the link in the show notes. If you’re in your podcast player. It’s just down underneath the description of today’s episode and checkout guardians gift. Obviously there are three you can take advantage of and we should all take advantage of at least one of them so i appreciate it tremendously that you came on today with me judy. And here’s two awesome. Twenty twenty one. Thank you thank you for. Having may and i agree with you wholeheartedly. Twenty twenty one here. We come definitely well. It’s been two months since we recorded this episode and twenty twenty one started off with a bit of a bank. I bet you’re surprised how much stuff you’ve already forgotten about happened back in january. Maybe even early february. There’s so much happening. It’s hard to keep track of it all so until we have a usb plug in the side of our head. I really think that this is an option. We all should check into. None of us wants to be searching for information in crisis during a medical emergency and trust me.

01:00:07 – 01:01:44

We really don’t wanna have to sift through stacks and boxes of photos that don’t have labels or items that we don’t remember the stories behind. It’s not that difficult to attach labels and memories two items and just keep it written down for family members to access later so definitely give guardians. Gift a look and as always. I’ll be in your ears again. Next tuesday while i’ve got your attention. Let me tell you about the modules in the eight week online course from caregiver. Chronicles it starts out with. What is a caregiver than educating yourself on the diagnosis caring for a sick loved one and observing your loved ones religious beliefs how to live a healthy lifestyle as a caregiver navigating the medical professionals understanding medication super important legal matters also important decision maker insurance community resources durable medical equipment when a caregiver is needed finding a caregiver placement in the skilled nursing facility or memory care residents family dynamics challenges and conflicts learning how to navigate that is probably worth the entire fee. Then there’s home health hospice than planning for your loved. Ones can be sure to check out their weekly live. Ask dr yvette. The link that is also in the show notes.