During COVID-19, Please Slow Down and Appreciate Your Elders
As we all struggle with the inconveniences of the COVID-19 pandemic, of which there are many, I hope we all remember to value the lives of all people, including those who are in the “at-risk” category. As a law firm, we serve this population daily. As a nation, we need to remember that many in at-risk categories have impacted our world tremendously for the better. We at HKH Elder Law are working and using every means we have to serve our clients while protecting them at the same time. But before we tell you how we are doing that, let me revisit an article I wrote years ago that has recently been revised to address current events:
Valuable Lessons Learned from Elders
In our years of working with elders, now known as an “at-risk” population, (and I shudder to remember just how many years it has been!) we’ve had the privilege of working with clients of all sorts of backgrounds. While some of the elder clients we have represented grew up during the great depression, others were the very individuals who invented things like plastic wrap and lunch bags and participated in the creation of the first nuclear power plant. Clients have reminisced with me about the first television shows they watched as children on a single neighborhood black and white television. I’ve known people who were around before Social Security and Medicare even existed, as well as those who relied on company pensions during their later years.
Years ago, I had the responsibility of interviewing elders in nursing homes to obtain their social history. I was young, and at first, it was an uncomfortable task for me. I felt as though I was prying into their private lives. They didn’t see it that way; they appreciated my interest in their lives! Most spoke openly of their past, childhoods, upbringing, family life, and careers. Some shared their disappointment of working too much at the expense of their families, while others told of their disappointment of never having had children or having had children that failed them.
Amazingly to me, at the end of our interviews, people would thank me for taking the time to sit and talk with them. The only response I could give was that my life had been greatly impacted by these people and their stories. I wonder if having the privilege of these experiences is why I highly-value Ethical Wills and the gift they are to families.
Take the Time to Be Considerate
We live in a quickly changing society where a cell phone is old in two years and ancient in five. Knowledge and technology are evolving faster than ever. Yet, our elders are slowing down, and at times, it feels like they are moving in the opposite direction. I remember that once a lady I had been working with stopped me at a time I was in a great hurry. I felt pressured and wanted to avoid her seeing me, but could not.
She stopped to thank me for helping her earlier, then she handed me a gift of a bookmark that had the poem, “You Took Time” inscribed on it. Augh! I felt embarrassed by my attitude. Years later, though I’ve been unable to find that poem, that interaction remains in my mind as one that completely reset my perspective on what is important.
The bottom line is that most of us are multitasking through life at warp speed. We find ourselves trying to do so many things that we end up ignoring or dismissing those who are not traveling through life at our pace. We might feel a twinge of guilt for not giving them “enough” time, foolishly thinking we are the only ones doing the giving, but we end up neglecting to see what that person has to offer to us.
But, we still can reach out to our elderly. The wealth of information and life that these seniors can share with us is invaluable. Their wisdom and experiences are a precious commodity. We can even learn and grow from their mistakes, possibly limiting some of our own. Their acceptance of us can be totally disarming, especially when we are feeling rather unaccepting of ourselves.
Serving Elder Clients Is Our Top Priority
So, during this COVID-19 crisis, please think about our seniors and other at-risk populations. At HKH Elder Law, we are working to continue services to our clients while keeping risk to each person at a minimum. We strongly believe that each person is a gift to our society. So the next time you’re able to take a moment and slow down to interact with an elder in your life, please do it! We believe you will benefit more than you can begin to imagine. If you avoid the opportunity, it may be that the one who really loses out is you.
Our legal team At HKH Elder Law is working remotely as much as possible, and each of us is individually practicing social distancing. And, because so many of our clients are even more concerned about getting their affairs in order, we have begun “Drive-In” document signings. Feel free to ask us for a copy of our “Drive In” signing procedures.
By, April Hill
To request a consultation via video chat, phone, or email, please contact our law firm online or give us a call today at (727) 240-2350.