Overcoming Decision Paralysis by Focusing on Positive Outcomes

Jim and Susan were referred to Team West by a direct care professional who was working with the couple to manage home care for Susan, who had become increasingly forgetful and belligerent. The care professional thought that Jim might benefit from Medicaid planning.

Jim was still working from a home office and felt strongly that he was uninterested in exploring alternative living arrangements for himself, though he might consider an assisted living environment for Susan. At the encouragement of his adult daughter who lives out of town, Jim reluctantly agreed to meet with Team West.

Identifying Issues Around Money

Jim had grown up in a family that was on welfare but married Susan, who inherited money from her parents. Together they had accrued $5 million in investments, which was primarily managed by Susan’s brother, whom Jim considered to be more financially savvy than himself. Because Jim was so reluctant to talk about money—which still had a negative charge from his childhood—he hadn’t discussed his entire financial situation with his adult son and daughter.

Through an LCAP process that included multiple conversations, listening carefully to Jim’s fears around moving and money, and piecing together a complete picture of Jim and Susan’s financial assets, Team West was able to acknowledge Jim’s fears around spending money, and provide him with an overview of what the financial impacts would be for different healthcare scenarios. When the team assured him that, whatever he choice he made, he would be financially secure, Jim looked visibly relieved, and was then able to move off of his position that he would not leave home to take a realistic look at different options for care.

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