Hickman & Lowder Weblog

"Hope I Die Before I Get Old"

Monday, 21 November 2011 11:45

old_coupleI don’t.  I hope I die before I feel too old, yes.  Readers of my generation may recognize The Who’s lyrics.  That one isn’t routinely piped into our downtown office building lobby.  Maybe it will serve as Muzak in our nursing homes in 2050.   But waiting for the elevator the other day, here in 2011, I did hear this one of Simon & Garfunkel’s:  “A good day ain’t got no rain.  A bad day’s when I lie in bed and think of things that might’ve been.”  (Yeah, I had thought it was “ain’t got no pain,” too.  But we’re in Northeast Ohio during the wettest year in several generations.  So what’s the difference.)

But this post is not just about us, the already careworn.  Still raising some family members while laying others to rest.  Or about all the elders out there in the rain.  My mind is actually on my offspring today, after a weekend filled with high-school plays and college applications and cast parties.  Here is a poem my eldest wrote:

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Mediation Services

Monday, 14 November 2011 10:24

handshakeAfter spending two days of advanced mediation training in San Diego last week, I was reminded once again of the importance of looking for alternative ways of resolving legal disputes.  Mediation allows a trained and impartial individual to assist the parties to identify key issues, review alternatives and search for workable solutions.  The process can save tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours of emotional strain.  The experience of the mediator provides perspective, a sounding board and the hope of finding common ground when emotions are clouding good judgment.

Hickman & Lowder is developing a mediation practice for all types of disputes, especially disputes in probate court.  Our firm has an extensive probate practice, which includes representing families embroiled in guardianship contests, arguments over wills and other intensely emotional conflicts.   Through mediation, we are able to assist people who wish to avoid complex, expensive and damaging court proceedings.  Hickman & Lowder is currently on the Probate Court referral lists in Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties.

- Posted by Frank Hickman

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Military Separation Papers

Monday, 24 October 2011 08:16

dog_tagsAll military retirees and Honorably Discharged veterans should ensure that their family knows the location of their military Separation Document (DD Form 214 from 1950 to present and WD (War Department) Form 53-55 and other variations prior to 1950).

It is important to properly store this important document so it can be readily found when needed.  Some suggestions are:

  • Fire safe in a secure location of the house (not in the bedroom, as this is where most thieves search first). Be sure spouse/NOK knows the location and has key/combination.
  • In the refrigerator in a watertight food container (Glad, Tupperware. etc.). Most refrigerators are fire resistant. Additionally, a refrigerator is heavy enough to fall through the floor of a building into the cooler part of the fire in the basement and better survive. Finally, a refrigerator is large enough to be easily located in the ash and ruble of a fire or other serious incident. (As a bonus, everyone has a refrigerator, not everyone has a fire resistant storage box).

If you don’t know where your military separation papers are, you can request a copy from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)1 by submitting a request on-line (the preferred method) or by mail.

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Identifying a Care Provider for Your Loved One

Monday, 26 September 2011 07:58

babyThis past summer, my husband and I were blessed with the birth of our daughter. We are first-time parents and her arrival brought with it immense joy, as well as the overwhelming knowledge that we are now responsible for her care, development and overall well-being. One of our tasks as we planned for my return to full-time work was finding a daycare for her. We are lucky that family will watch her two out of five days, but we had to find a daycare we were comfortable with for the other three days of the work week.

It dawned on me that the anxiety and apprehension I was feeling about placing her in the care of (professional) strangers is probably how my clients who had to pick either a nursing home for an older relative, or a group home for a disabled, younger family member must feel. Before, I could sympathize with my clients as they worked on finding the right place for their vulnerable loved one who might not be able to advocate for themselves.  Now, I can empathize with them having gone through a similar process.

I wanted to be absolutely sure that the people with whom I left her were trustworthy and sensitive to her needs because she can’t speak for herself and tell me if she is okay when I am not with her. I needed to find some place where I could be reassured she would be okay. I read every website and magazine article I could find about daycares. I talked to friends, family and our pediatrician about the daycares they used or knew of. I researched each “finalist” online and visited six daycares. I would stop myself regularly and think, “This must be what my clients go through trying to find care providers…I am a nervous wreck!”

It would have been so reassuring to have someone like Terry Fries-Malloy, our Care Coordinator, I could turn to and talk about the daycares I was considering. A professional familiar with the field who could tell me what to look for and what to ask – a real, live person who could listen to my anxieties and counter them with professional advice. Instead, I read and re-read the materials I had, and talked over pro and cons with my husband to make sure we were making the right decision.

We did pick a daycare center and, after two weeks back to work, I am pretty sure we made the right decision, but only time will tell. I suppose it is like this for my clients, too. I wish all of you with loved ones being cared for by other people peace of mind and comfort.

- Posted by Lisa Montoni Garvin

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