Presented by Leonard Berthelsen It’s now been six weeks since the loss of my good friend who suffered in his later years with the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s. I have reflected often over these six weeks about his life; the energy, the vibrant personality and the zest for life that he had until that final year. It is so sad to see the effects of this disease and what it drains from a person right before your eyes. My friend was married, had two wonderful children and three grandchildren. He always had a smile on his face, teased people immensely and was forever volunteering to help others – exactly what you would want in a friend, father, grandfather and husband. As his generation takes their final journey, I find myself asking “Are we taking care of our fathers’ generation as well as we can?” So what does this have to do with insurance, or the profession we decided to make our life’s work? We have the opportunity AND responsibility to make sure that the final journey is as smooth as possible without the pitfalls that come from the financial crisis that comes far too often to so many people who have not planned for the final journey of life. In the weeks leading up to my friend’s death, I was visiting with his wife about some of the financial issues she was experiencing and she told me, “I don’t know what I would have done if we didn’t have long term care insurance.” He was in a specialized memory care facility with others experiencing that same final journey. He stayed in that care facility for nearly two years. The final year he experienced difficulty remembering people and names, but yet still maintained his sense of humor and love for his family. I have been in this business for over 30 years and have had a lot of clients experience similar journeys – and it is never easy with any of them. My comfort comes from knowing that I did what I could to make that journey a little less painful and a little less stressful without it becoming a financial crisis. Are you taking care of our fathers’ generation? Are you doing everything that you can to make that journey less painful? Are you providing the guidance that your clients so desperately need? Ask yourself these questions. Maybe it’s time to refocus on our mission and help others with that final journey.