About Jan

My mother was forgetful. My father had cancer. They called me for help and asked their lawyer to draw up some papers. I’d like to say that I thought carefully about my decision to offer support and that I fully understood what this decision would entail, but in truth, I was clueless.

At the time, my children were three and six years old. My parents, 78 and 77.  A working mother, I became  my parents’ care partner: a juggler of medical appointments and Girl Scouts, Little League and cardiac labs, home care and school plays. After my father passed away, one of my sisters—along with her three teenagers and 5 year old, two dogs and a ferret—joined forces with me and invited our mother to live with her family. These years were bittersweet,  often chaotic, and tiring, yet, in the end, deeply beneficial to our families and an ongoing source of hilarious stories around our dinner table. After both parents were gone, I decided to share our story and the lessons we learned; I encourage you to share yours.

I had the good fortune to be born into a large Scots-Irish family: my four siblings and I are the grandchildren of, as my father often joked, a “poor, unfortunate Irish immigrant”  and the first generation to attend college. Professionally, I have worked as a scientist, educator, pharmaceutical executive, and management consultant—none of which, by the way, adequately prepared me for this journey with my parents. Recently, I founded Circle of Life Partners, as a trustworthy resource to help families successfully support aging loved ones and maintain their financial health.

Tell me what you need to know, and I’ll research it for you. I do not have a financial arrangement with any of the organizations that I write about; I simply want to provide you with knowledge or ideas that might help save time, energy or missteps. I was clueless when I began supporting my parents, but you don’t have to be; you are not alone. Together, let’s help your parents and older family members enjoy their last years to the fullest!


4 thoughts on “About Jan

  1. Hi Jan,

    I applaud you for this. I just recently ( in the last year) took over my parents healthcare management and it was a bear. My situation involved moving them from FL back to MA, so I needed to get them on a new plan. The challenge, my father needed surgery. It was unbelievable what I had to do in order to get everything done within/by open enrollment. Literally, I put my job aside and spent full-time hours to get it all done. All I could think was, “how would an elderly person – or anyone who was not well – who had no one to advocate for them, be able to handle this on their own”. The answer was simple. They wouldn’t. Couldn’t. It’s sad, but many go without the care they need simply because they just don’t have the strength or know-how to handle all the red tape that is required.

    Fantastic site, I’ll share it with others.

    Sarah

  2. Hi Sarah,
    Your parents are fortunate to have you advocate for them. It is unsettling to see how older people fare without support and how much time it takes to find services or handle the red tape. Thanks for sharing the site!
    Jan

  3. Jan,

    i was blessed by your text given to me by a client as we share stories of aging parents and in-laws. As president of the Indpls Estate Planning Council, I am compelled to inquire about your speaking schedule and fees. So often our entire focus, whether from a legal, trust, tax, or insurance viewpoint, leaves a void in the area of practical application of care. Parents are people . . . who have hopes and dreams and desires . . . even at age 80, 90 or 100. Too often we relegate this phase of life into a category tagged as “planning” when “people” ought remain at the forefront. Your text “Dont Give Up on Me” was a stirring reminder of the human element of the planning process, helpful for both the aging party and the caregivers alike. Thank you for this wonderful contribution to thought, conviction and preparedness!

    Regards,
    Kirk

  4. Thank you for an interesting discussion last night at 85 Broads, and thank you for your book. I can’t wait to read it!
    Best, Megan

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