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Get Your NOK Box In Order

Last Friday, you couldn’t have told me our family life would change in a day, yet it did.

My mother, the love of my life, best friend, and hero, had a stroke last Thursday.

Not knowing what had happened, she waited on the floor of her home in Colorado Springs until Friday to call my brother as the right side of her body was immobile. Keith immediately called me, and our lives were changed forever.

I rushed from Denver to be by her side as she underwent a battery of tests, CT scans, and an MRI. At that point, we learned she had officially had a stroke and had had numerous others in the past, including one that may have happened only 10 days prior. Our tough Texas-born and raised mom had no clue, and Monday, they implanted a heart monitor.

Why share this private information on LinkedIn? One reason: a next of kin box, folder, or digital file. You need one. 

Get a list of topics to have “the talk” with your family members and discuss everything. Health insurance, medical cards, passwords, Power of Attorney, essential contacts, the Will, and other items must be addressed AND placed in a Next of Kin box, folder, or digital file.

Two years back, we had the family “Will talk” and knew who would handle her finances and medical, and we had her passwords. However, we didn’t discuss the “what ifs” of needing medical assistance, assisted living, and all the things associated, like caregiving, her home, belongings, and her cute little sports car (yes, at 85, the woman drove a Chrysler Prowler).

My mother, in true form, is in good spirits, has no speech impairment, and is in rehabilitation at the same hospital where she was admitted—Keith and I. We’re making waves in setting up a wonderful future for her and are thankful we both know our roles.

I simply say, get your NOK box in order.