Caregivers and their spouses


There came a time in our marriage when my husband, Peter, did something so extraordinary that I fell in love with him all over again. You might think it was a grand gesture, like a surprise trip to Italy or a diamond necklace. It wasn’t. It was something so simple, yet so profound. Peter joined me in my caregiving journey. He didn’t have to. I was the one who had signed up to care for our elderly neighbors Fred and Hildy. But of course I had no idea at the time what that meant. Over time, rides around town and grocery shopping gave way to financial planning for long-term care; that’s when Peter stepped in. But the gesture that really gave me pause was more human than financial. Hildy had passed away and Fred was recovering from a stroke. Fred had progressed from the hospital to rehab but was not well enough to come home. So the next stop was a skilled nursing facility until he could regain strength and mobility. Fred had really wanted to come home. It was all becoming too much...

Making a business ‘ability-friendly’


Recently my parents needed to open a checking account for their newly created trust. In a phone conversation with my mom, who now makes most of the financial decisions, I asked which bank she planned to use. She said she was considering the decision. She was loyal to her old bank, but my sister, who lives close by, wanted my mom to move to her bank. Given similar rates of return at both banks, I asked what I thought was an obvious question, “Which bank is the easiest to get in and out of?” We debated the pros and cons of each location. Both banks were on busy roads with no signals to help regulate traffic in and out. Since my dad uses a wheelchair, we also considered the parking-lot setup, ramp access, whether they had an automatic entry system, and the configuration of the lobby floor plan to try to figure out which bank was easiest for my dad to navigate. We were amused that, as much attention as banks devote to customer service and relationship building, at the end of the...