Hurley Elder Care Law Newsletter - May 2018
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May 2018   

Seven years later— Precious Moments

Seven years ago, our attorney Danielle Humphrey shared a story of having an aging parent with us: 

Why is it so hard to be with my aging parent? After every visit with my mother, I can never shake the mix of emotions that swirl in my head.  When did my mother get so...frail?  When did our relationship reverse roles?  Will my kids be saying the same things about me in 30 years?  The aging process--whether you are in the midst of it yourself (I guess we all are somewhere in the “process”) or watching a loved one significantly decline physically, cognitively or socially—is just plain hard.
            My mother’s nickname was the energizer bunny; she raised six kids, volunteered for everything, made all four of her daughters’ wedding dresses  (mine was beaded!) and baked the most glorious cakes from scratch for everyone’s birthday.  She did it all and managed to make it look easy. The 15-year-old girl in me still wants to see my mom the same way she was in 1980.  But, the big Kitchen Aid mixer lays idle, the dust bunnies in the corners go unnoticed and her sewing room is now just another room filled with what used to be.  My 46-year-old eyes have a hard time seeing my 82-year-old mother take a week to do what she used to do in 20 minutes.  It frustrates me that she wants to stay home all the time and won’t get on a plane to Atlanta to see her grandsons play basketball.   I’m bewildered by her need to obsessively talk about bad news, like the latest relative with cancer or a cousin whose husband left her for his secretary.  Finally, I am fearful of my own aging process and what it will look like.
              My father died from cancer six years ago.   His illness was rather quick and, until the last year of his life, he was doing quite well physically, cognitively and socially.   I did not see him decline over time.  Frankly I don’t know which is more difficult: I miss my dad being here but I miss the mom I knew back then just as much.  My mom and I always butted heads (my sisters say it is because we are alike), but when she was less frail we were evenly matched so I didn’t feel so bad. Embracing a new relationship with this frail yet still very feisty octogenarian is something I need to make peace with.  Accepting her for who she is now and enjoying what she offers her grandsons and me is crucial to this next part of our journey together.  It is kind of cute how she calls me every day after watching Al Roker to tell me what my weather will be like “up there in Atlanta.” So what if I can get it off my I-phone instantaneously, she feels needed.  I admire how she follows football and chats with my sons about how “if the Saints can’t win I hope it’s the Packers!”  I’m glad that every time I call to rant about how selfish my 14-year-old can be she politely reminds me of the things I did and said at the same age—pay back is hell!

              I adore our octogenarian clients, so why does my own mother send my head spinning?  I think it is because I can enjoy my clients for who they are today with their rich history and hard-earned wisdom. But with my own mother I long for who she used to be and what she used to do.  I’m mourning an era that has passed and will never come again and at the same time fearing an era (the one where I am the frail elderly mom) that has not come.  What I need to do, and what I hope we all can do, is learn to live in and enjoy the era we are in right now.  My 82-year-old mother has gifts to give me and to the world. I just need to open my eyes, my ears and mostly my heart to them.  Likewise I need to enjoy my 14- and 12-year-old boys for the moment we have now because today always turns into tomorrow’s memories and I want them to have good ones of this time in our lives.  With any luck one day my boys will have a feisty octogenarian mom too.

This month, Danielle shares this update with us:

 My mom is now 89, and I am 53.  My mom has lost a lot of her mobility and eyesight; but she still dyes her hair black and insists on living alone (much to my dismay).  I am no longer a single mom of two boys--I am married to a wonderful man, and we are empty nesters.  Life changes, our bodies age, and we can look at the glass half empty (all the wrinkles on my face) or half full (I can still run a half marathon).  The frustration I used to feel over my mom’s frailty has been replaced by the joy of a morning phone call with a mom who can still have a conversation with me and remember it (it’s the small things).  When my college-aged kids do or say something that I know my mom would appreciate, I immediately pick up the phone and call her to tell her about it.  We laugh and we cry (mostly laugh), and she reminds me of my college days (reality check).  I appreciate the wisdom that comes with the experience of her 89 years on this earth and relish the fact that I still have a mom to talk to.  I know the day will come when she won’t be there so I have learned to look at each phone call or visit as precious. Webster defines precious as  “an object, substance or resource of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.”   I try not to waste or treat carelessly any moment I have to see or talk to her.  The last 7 years of watching my mom age, my boys grow into men and my clients face the difficulties that come with poor health, dementia and death has taught me that every day we have on this earth to love and care for others is a gift.  I will hold on to these precious moments as long as I can and hopefully my sons will one day get the gift of an old wise mother to hold precious, too.
If you are interested in learning more about Danielle Humphrey, please visit our website by clicking hereTo schedule a consultation with Danielle, please call our office at (404) 843-0121.

Family Business
This past Sunday was Mother’s day and we had so many special mothers to celebrate! New mom Theresa took her baby girl swimming for the very first time in Grandma Dawn’s pool.  It was scorching outside so Sandi, Joanna, Danielle and Louise also had pool days with their families! Keesha, Kim and Debbie were treated to brunch/cookouts by their loved ones. Amanda ended the day with a shopping trip and ice cream date with her little men. Thank you moms for your sacrifices!

In other news— More Hurley and Lewis offspring are about to leave the nest! This Saturday Graham Hurley and Harrison Lewis will both graduate from Pace Academy! We are beyond proud of you both!

Upcoming Speaking Events and CEs
Continuing Education (CE)
*All CE topics are certified for case managers, nurses and social workers
“Do you have your documents in place?”  Healthcare providers ask this question of patients and families daily and more often than we would like, the answer is “no.” What healthcare documents does everyone really need and how do they work? What are the repercussions of needing care and having no documents in place?  What options do healthcare providers have when families need to take action? We will review the essential documents every adult needs including the General Durable Power of Attorney, the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare and various other documents that may be recommended.
5:30 PM-6:00 PM Registration and Dinner, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM CE Education, Northlake Gardens, 1300 Montreal Road, Tucker, GA 30084, RSVP:

Healthcare professionals recognize that dealing with a surrogate decision maker is often necessary. Most even encourage their patients to identify a healthcare agent in an advance directive for healthcare. Yet knowing who is the legal decision maker is not always clear. During the presentation Hurley Elder Care Law will present information explaining the four different types of surrogate decision makers and their necessary legal documents. The presenters will review the responsibilities of a healthcare agent and discuss factors to consider when dealing with a healthcare agent. The discussion will feature a review of ethical dilemmas that health care agents face and examine guidelines for making decisions on behalf of someone else. Through a series of case studies, the presenters will discuss how healthcare professionals sometimes struggle with patient autonomy and informed consent when surrogates are involved.

11:30 AM- 12:00 PM Registration and Lunch, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM CE Education, Parc at Duluth, 3315 Peachtree Industrial Rd. , Duluth, GA 30096 RSVP:

For more details and a complete list of upcoming events, please visit Hurley Elder Care Law Community Education.
Recent BlogsDifficult Conversations- A few tips on how to discuss mortality with your children.

Dementia Infrastructure Bill- Take a closer look at the benefits of this bill.

Elder Loneliness- How do I approach the issue and help a loved one?

Lessons for Retirement- What is most important in retirement?

Elder Care Resources
Finding a nursing home- The search in metro Atlanta can be overwhelming.

Alzheimers Classes- Great educational programs for individuals and families facing Alzheimer’s.

Statistics of Parkinson’s Disease- Read the mind-boggling current statistics.

My Last Will- When do I need to get a will or update my existing will?

Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA  Miles P. Hurley founded Hurley Elder Care Law in 2006 to provide legal assistance to the elderly population on issues relating to aging including retaining independence, quality of life and financial security. Mr. Hurley is one of eleven attorneys in the state of Georgia to receive the Elder Law Attorney Certification, and one of approximately 400 nationwide. 
Hurley Elder Care Law is dedicated to the process of long-term care and estate planning. 
Call us today for a free phone consultation with a client coordinator at (404) 843-0121.
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Hurley Elder Care Law
100 Galleria Pkwy, Suite 650
Atlanta, GA 30339

Satellite Offices
2011 Commerce Dr. Suite 100, Peachtree City, GA 30269   
225 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock, GA 30188       
6340 Sugarloaf Pkwy. Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097

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