Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I Want My Phone to be My Camera and Not A Phone...When I Travel Out of the Country

Good News:  I can use my phone as my camera when I go out of the country.

But why then did I accumulate $800 in charges on my phone, which I left on but put in my suitcase, on my last trip?

It all depends on where you are going.

Thank you Verizon for making it easy...only joking.

When I was on a ship in Costa Rico, I forgot to turn my phone off.  I tucked it away in my suitcase, never to be seen until I reached the US of A.

What a surprise that I had accumulated charges of $800.  No, don't worry, I didn't have to pay.

So this time, now that I am off somewhere else, I called to ask:  how can I use my phone as my camera and not get charges on my bill?

Easy, said the rep.  Where I am now going, if I don't put a Global Plan on the phone, I can't use it anyway, so go ahead and make it your camera!

Why then did I have an issue with the last trip?  The rep said: where I travelled to last time didn't need a Global Plan.  How was I to know that?  I was out of the country, so one would assume you would need a different plan.

My advice:  call your carrier before taking a trip to get the correct information. Maybe then you can use your phone as your camera...and nothing else.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Power of Attorney is a Powerful Document

We are aging and so are our parents.  Along with their aging comes a little more responsibility on our part to take care of things.

With that in mind, it is important to have a Power of Attorney, putting someone in charge of dealing with our parents' lives.

Not everything or everyday but enough to be able to call a bank or insurance company on their behalf and be able to have a dialogue with the representative.

It is almost impossible to get information without a POA and I had tried many times, sometimes pleading with the representative, just so that I could straighten out an issue an older relative was having.

If your parent has to be hospitilized and then have surgery and they don't have a spouse (not unusal as they age,) they need someone to advocate for them.  I am not talking about a Living Will or Health Care Proxy, although those are very important.  I mean you need to be able to make other types of decisions, sign documents.

What I have learned is that it is a difficult world out there when what has to get done is not really clear to the elderly person and they don't know how to handle situations.  They need help and the help has to come from someone they trust.

For the past 4 months I have had to deal with hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home care aides, insurance, bills, checking accounts and credit cards for starters.  You can't blame a company for not wanting to speak with someone whom they don't know especially if it is over the phone.  Too much fraud in our world.

Many parents may not want to give up their independence, knowing that someone else can do things for them, even without their knowing or understanding.  That too is the point: sometimes they don't understand and can make bad decisions. Or they show signs of dementia and may forget to do something which needed to be done.  So many scenarios, each situation has its own concerns.

Take time to discuss this with your parent or relative or sibling or whomever may need you down the road. And visa versa. You don't want to learn the hard way and have to scramble to accomplish what could have been done under less stressful conditions.