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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Your Parents' Safety Deposit Box

It’s Nearly 2009: Do you know what’s in your parents safety deposit box?

If you are among the largest American demographic—aging Baby Boomers—you likely have one or both parents who are part of the rapidly disappearing WWII generation. You may be dealing with your parents’ declining health, their ability to live independently and eventual demise.

My own mother has had two bouts of life threatening infections this year requiring scrutiny of her ability to continue living independently, her willingness to make lifestyle changes, and end of life issues. And she lives 150 miles from us. When she first moved from Gig Harbor to Ilwaco she was of reasonably sound mind and took care of her own affairs. That was ten years ago.

Our family spent this Thanksgiving in Ilwaco. The kids went home Saturday so after they’d left leaving my friends Jo & Jon and me to take my mother shopping we sat down for wonderful leftovers followed by the inspection of the contents of my mother’s safety deposit box.

On Friday we had gone to the bank in search of my mother’s life insurance policy which we need for her application to DSHS for Medicaid and in order to get help paying her somewhat extensive medical bills this year. What I believed would be a quick, easy trip, proved more daunting when her small box popped open to reveal about eight inches of disorganized envelopes and papers and the sought after policy not readily apparent. With a turkey on the barbecue and a Thanksgiving dinner to cook we decided to take the contents, in a large envelope provided by her bank, back to the house to be dealt with later.

Do you know what’s in your parents’ safety deposit box? We laughed, we cried, we didn’t find the $200 life insurance policy DSHS is asking for, but we did find some interesting things. If you are interested in finding out what we did find, check out The View From My Broom.

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