In the latest issue of Partnering Together, we put together ideas and resources for using supported decision-making. In addition, our Real Life Experts share their perspectives on aspects of supported decision-making across the LifeCourse. Below, is an excerpt from the Aging column, written by Rachel, a family caregiver who has been caring for her grandmother for the past two years.

Aging life stage iconIs Supported Decision-making or are other alternatives to guardianship in place to protect my rights as I age?


Photo: Rachel and her grandmother recentlyOver the past couple of years, my grandmother has had some health issues an that resulted in a sharp decline in her mobility and a marked jump cognitive and memory problems (that I believe to be brought on by stress and trauma) in addition to the aging process. So now, instead of her taking care of me, our roles have reversed.

At the onset of her medical issues, my grandma sought a Durable Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney. Even though she didn’t need it at the time, she set it up to help protect her in the future. There have been times in the hospital and rehabilitation where it has been very helpful in making sure she received the care she needed. It also allowed me to handle her affairs while she was recuperating from her illness, paying bills and managing her finances.

Since I have become more involved in my grandma’s daily life, I discovered that she was being exploited by scam magazine companies and rewards offers and had a significant amount of unnecessary debt…

Photo: Head shot of Rachel HilesRachel, 
Kansas City, MO
Rachel is staff on the Missouri Family to Family team and the primary caregiver to her grandmother.


To find out how they dealt wiht the debt and scammers, read the full column  at