Last month Sharon and I presented at the American Society on Aging (ASA) “Aging in America” conference in Chicago. The program was packed with presentations on a wide variety of subjects relating to aging, but one in particular caught our attention.
In recent years we have tried to plan for aging and end-of-life decisions and issues. We drafted wills; we executed durable powers of attorney and updated our advanced directives. We purchased plots in the Jacksonville Cemetery. We even built a lovely, age-friendly, Lifelong Housing Certified single story home that features all manner of innovations to help us “age-in-place.” All set right? Well, what about Lucy?
If you have followed this blog for long you know that we added a new member to our family last September; a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy we name Lucy.
At the Chicago ASA Conference we attended a workshop titled “Aging in Community with Pets: Insights, Innovations and Advance Planning.” There it was….advance planning for Lucy. How could we forget Lucy?
We heard from Amy Shever, Executive Director, 2nd Chance 4 Pets, an all-volunteer animal welfare organization that strives to reduce the number of companion animals that are unnecessarily euthanized each year due to the death or incapacity of their human companions. The facts are stunning, after the tragedy of September 11 over 800 pets were orphaned. At present over 500,000 pets are orphaned each year due to the death or disability of their human companion.
Here is what 2nd Chance 4 Pets (www.2ndchance4pets.org) recommends:
- Identify Caregivers – Identify individuals who would be willing to care for your pets in the hours, days, or weeks after an emergency as well as individuals who would be willing to adopt your pets should you die or become incapacitated.
- Prepare Written instructions – Describe, in writing, how your pets should be cared for. To make sure your wishes are carried out, document your instructions and let others know where your instructions are located.
- Set Up a Fund – You currently pay for food, supplies, and medical care for your pets. Should anything happen to you, these expenses will still need to be taken care of. Consider setting aside funds to cover temporary or permanent care of your pets. Pet trusts are legal in Oregon.
Ok Lucy.. We’ve got you covered.