November is National Caregiver month, and we are honoring those around the world who care for aging or disabled loved ones. This could be special needs loved ones, aging loved ones with Dementia and other cognitive diseases, loved ones who simply need help with the daily activities of living that include things like meal preparation, shopping, bathing, doctor visits, help with medications, and managing financial issues.

As Roslyn Carter so eloquently stated: There are only 4 types of people: Those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who receive care, and those who will be caregivers in the future.

My mission for the last 30 years has been to teach individuals to prepare for becoming a caregiver or care-receiver well in advance of the “triggering event.” The secret to all planning is to start early when options are affordable and plentiful vs. reacting when you have less choices and may end up in court with no idea where important documents are located, being told what you can and can’t do by a judge, and then dealing with stress, family conflicts, and overwhelm.

Although this can be a very difficult topic to approach with loved ones, I suggest following these 5 steps so you can be prepared for the issues related to long term care and aging.  These steps include, but are not limited to:

  1. Having those important conversations with loved ones as soon as possible to ensure everyone is on board with a plan when the triggering event occurs.
  2. Getting organized so important documents and information is readily available in a “grab and go” binder.
  3. Meeting with an attorney who focuses on “eldercare” to create the proper legal documentation and processes to keep you out of court and in control during what can be a very stressful time.
  4. Exploring the new hybrid long-term care policies that can provide a tax-free stream of income to pay for all levels of care.
  5. AND making sure the Caregiver has a self-care plan in place.

It’s so easy to put things off until there’s a reason to act. This is such a difficult topic, but preparing in advance will make the experience so much easier for all.

To help you get started with the process, I am interviewing Elder Law Attorney, Danielle Mayoras, who will share the important legal planning that can be done no matter where you are in the process today.

I’m also interviewing Long Term Care Concierge, Annalee Kruger, who helps families be proactive in developing an Aging Plan and learn how to facilitate family meetings. Annalee is the gal to call if you are currently experiencing caregiver burnout.

Be sure to read my article above, A Caregiver’s Manual to Be Prepared for that Call in the Night. If you want to discuss your situation personally, email me at or visit my online calendar and book a call with me at  I’d love to connect!


Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Coach, founder of the Smart Women Companies, and the host Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers.  For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new ebook, The Five Biggest Money Mistakes Women Make and How to Fix Them, visit