Thursday, May 19, 2016

How To Be Effective In End Of Life Planning - Cynthia Martindale, Author Of 'Graceful Last Chapters', Offers Advice, Resources And End Of Life Planning Tools

Martindale is the author of the ultimate guide to caregiving. She helps caregivers chart a clear path through caregiving challenges, options, and eventual heartbreak

Nobody likes to face their own mortality. Though attorneys, insurance companies, financial professionals and a host of other sage experts encourage us in every way imaginable to get things in order now, we still procrastinate. We must face it, as the sad fact is that nobody gets out alive. Though we will be gone and won't have to deal with the results of our procrastination, it is our families that will ultimately pay the price for our resistance to end of life planning.

Cynthia Martindale, author of 'Graceful Last Chapters' has written the ultimate guide to caregiving and senior issues. She is an expert in regards to end of life planning. She offers the following advice, tips and resources for those who are ready to begin the planning process.

"Whether you’re contemplating end-of-life planning tools for yourself, a friend, or a family member, know that you’re not alone: no one joyously jumps out of bed in the morning because today’s the day you’ll write your Last Will and Testament, or Powers of Attorney, or Living Will," Martindale stated. "We’re all procrastinators, perhaps especially when the task involves end-of-life decision-making. We don’t want to think about dying, let alone map the details in writing. If we could just re-frame our thoughts and turn the “dying” problem into part of “living” life, right up to the final breath, maybe procrastination would be replaced by desire for power and control. Until we can all manage that as individuals, however, the National Healthcare Decisions Day 2016 theme says it best: 'It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late'. Readers can see National Healthcare Decisions Day for more information."

"It’s the desire we all have for power and control over our life’s evolution that may drive us to act.  Didn’t we work long and hard to build a financial nest egg?  Didn’t it take a lifetime to design our space in life and furnish it with meaningful treasures and memories?  Don’t you want to know the tangible evidence of your life’s work will go to individuals who will cherish it?  It’s totally within your power to control the disbursement of your estate through your Will by gifts and bequests to anyone you want.  Consider the opposite effect for negative motivation:  if you pass away without a Will, state and federal law control your estate: one half can typically go to the state, and the other half can go per stirpes (by the blood) to your relatives . . . including all the ones you don’t like very much. For helpful information, see American Bar Association/Public Resources, AARP, Willing, GYST (Get Your Sh*t Together on What Matters Most) and Everplans: Online End of Life Resources."

"Your Last Will and Testament has no effect until you’ve passed away, so it’s arguably even more important to address three other documents that function to help during your lifetime:   Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and Financial Power of Attorney.  In tandem, a Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney (also known as Healthcare Surrogate or Healthcare Proxy) are often called Advance Directives, which serve to record your medical preferences. The Living Will directs decision-making regarding life-sustaining treatment (what you do and do not want to receive) in a terminal situation, either illness or injury, when you can no longer express your own wishes. The Healthcare Power of Attorney names the person to whom you have given substituted medical decision-making authority -- the capacity to act on your behalf, as you would for yourself if you could -- to see your wishes are executed accordingly if the time arrives and it’s necessary. Great resources include: National Institute on Aging, U.S. National Library of Medicine/MedlinePlus, Aging With Dignity/Five Wishes, Eldercare Matters Alliance and"

"Beyond medical concerns, you’ll also need to appoint a Power of Attorney for Finance to assist with money matters, someone you implicitly trust to act as your 'agent' with the authority to make financial decisions as the situation requires. Limits on their power as your agent are controlled entirely by you.  You can change your Powers of Attorney, Will, and Living Will whenever you want, but do it by the rules of proper execution so it’s a legal document and not a rough draft. For more information, see also, CaringInfo and the National Caregivers Library."

Cynthia spent much of her career as a sales and marketing director for senior living communities. She is a seasoned veteran of all things senior-related. In 'Graceful Last Chapters', she shares her twenty years of experience with senior care in a voice filled with compassion, understanding, and an insider's point of view. As the primary caregiver for her parents in their declining years, as a sales and marketing director for senior living communities, and as a lawyer, Ms. Martindale brings readers a valuable resource about caring for aging loved ones. The book is filled with support and guidance for caregivers, clearly defined options for care, and the ways and means for readers to craft their own successful journey through caregiving challenges and heartbreak. Ms. Martindale offers readers fundamental knowledge, hope, a sense of identity and, ultimately, a path toward peace of mind.

Martindale combines her education, business expertise, and personal experiences to bring readers a valuable resource about caring for aging loved ones. The book's twenty-seven chapters are grouped into seven sections: (One) Considering Long-Term Care Options; (Two) Caregiving Challenges; (Three) Creating a Plan; (Four) Aging in Place With Additional Care; (Five) Senior Living Communities; (Six) Touring Senior Communities; and (Seven) After the Bloom Fades. The chapters build gradually to mimic the progression of the journey caregivers take with their senior loved one, whether that individual is their mother, father, aunt, uncle, sibling, spouse, friend, or neighbor.

'Graceful Last Chapters' has achieved a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon. One reviewer stated, "It is rare to encounter such an obviously experienced counselor in the field of Senior Care as Cynthia who demonstrates on every page of this impressive and ultimately authoritarian guide such tenderness, calm and candor." Another said, "This book captures not only the practical information on choices for seniors but it deals with the tougher emotional side of caring for loved ones as they age."

Cynthia Martindale is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at 'Graceful Last Chapters: Helping Seniors Who Need More Care' is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. More information is available at

About Cynthia Neher Martindale:

Cynthia Neher Martindale holds degrees from Hillsdale College (B.A. in English), Northern Illinois University (M.A. in English), and Valparaiso University School of Law (J.D.). Graceful Last Chapters: Helping Seniors Who Need More Care is the result of her years as both a sales and marketing director for senior living communities and as the primary caregiver for her parents. She  lives in Flossmoor, Illinois, with her husband and son.


Cynthia Neher Martindale