What I Learned From My Parents Getting COVID-19Submitted by Reby Advisors | Certified Financial Planners | Danbury, CT on November 13th, 2020
By Devone McLeod, CFP®, November 13, 2020
COVID-19 has infected more than 10.6 million Americans, resulting in over 243,000 deaths. The numbers are astounding, but when it gets personal, the pandemic becomes far more real than statistics can convey.
My Dad’s Story
The week of October 26, my dad complained of a cold. His common symptoms quickly escalated to intense fatigue and weakness by Friday, so my mom took him to the doctor to get tested for COVID-19. Over the weekend as we waited for the results, he fainted. Our feeling of alarm grew.
Tuesday, November 3, the test results revealed that my dad had COVID-19, which had morphed into pneumonia, and he was admitted into a hospital. After a few days, the doctors cleared him to return home to rest, with supplemental oxygen. He’s now on the path to recovery, getting stronger each day.
Through the process, my mom also came down with COVID-19. She did not develop symptoms like my dad at all, but felt very fatigued. She was also very stressed from dealing with my dad's health scare.
An Important Lesson - for Everyone
I live the closest to my parents of all my siblings, so I helped out as much as possible by handling communication with doctors and doing some other chores when needed.
Yet there was so much information that I couldn’t get without documentation:
- Health Care Proxy. This document allows a third party to make health care decisions when a patient may be incapable.
- Durable Power of Attorney. Allows a person to handle matters on behalf of another including finances and healthcare.
Being a Financial Planner, I already knew - intellectually - how important it is to have these documents in place, but it really dawns on you when actually dealing with a crisis. Health episodes don’t normally give you advanced warning to get your affairs in order.
My message is to please make sure these documents are executed, up-to-date, and easily located by those who may need them.
As COVID-19 cases are rising again, please stay safe this holiday season.