Thank you, Susan Geffen, for your Service

Many of you probably do not know the "story behind Crisis Coaching." August 17, 2016, I had heard about Susan Geffen, Eldercare lawyer's community presentations, on Aging in America, and decided to attend that morning. It was a spontaneous decision; I had an hour to get to the meeting.

What I did know is that I had hit "the wall" - I was a burned out case manager / caregiver to my elderly difficult father, and  I was watching my career and ability to earn an income slide into the deep my feelings of despair grew and grew. I had moved back from Canada to help him,but at a distance for most of it, for safety reasons.

At this point it was over three years, and I had no compass steering me out of this mess. I say "mess" as I never got along with this man, as a kid and adult into my thirties, he had gone out of his way to make my life "hell." Yet, I was responsible to make sure he had the best care options possible.(Some day I may write the full story?)

I was lucky in one sense - at 93, up until August 2, 2013, he was still volunteering part time, still doing his own accounting, and still driving. Medicare did not see him as "disabled" -  what Medicare did not see until he was hospitalized, was that he was putting up a good face to the public and behind the scenes, should not have been living independently.

Back to Susan's meeting: the meeting was held at a local hotel ballroom. About 200 people were there, and trade-show booths lined a side room. From 10-1pm primarily Susan would talk, and then a few other side speakers. The topics were all to educate on eldercare.

At this point, my father had been in hospital for about two weeks, two back-to-back admitting events. I did not know if he would pull through this time. This time he had been falling a lot, and Friday, August 16, had been told by doctors he had less than 24 hours to live. So, my father, being who he was, decided to call everyone listed in his cellphone , and announce or leave a message to them, that they would be rid of him within 24 hours, that he would be dead.

I was in denial that he was really that close to an "exit. " He had been cutting grass August 2nd, then went to the hospital casually for some outpatient tests. Hospital complications had led to him being overdosed.

I went to Susan's as I needed a break. My father was out of state. I did not need to see him; we did everything by phone. It was safer that way. My PTSD could only handle so much. He may have grown older and elderly, but his mind was laser sharp, still the sociopath button-pushing until the end. (Think "Silence of the Lambs" type). Susan's event would be a nice break.

I learned so much at her event. At around 12:30pm there was a "break" for people to wander around and check out the booths. About 12:50pm, I stood talking to a young woman about Vet benefits. All of a sudden she stopped talking about what she was talking about.

"I feel like I am supposed to hug you. I don't know why. Would that be okay?" she asked.

"I guess so..." So we hugged each other. A very long hug. We both were crying at the end.

Susan called everyone back to be seated. The next talk was on Reverse Mortgages. I did not want to sit through that, so I left.

I barely got about ten minutes away from the hotel, now driving on the 101 freeway, when I got a cell phone call from the hospital nurse.

[No introduction - as to who she was]

"He's dead. I want to go to lunch. What do you want us to do with his body?"

[I was driving about 60 mph  in traffic!] "I am driving. I need to pull off at the next exit and call you back. I need five minutes."

"Well, hurry, up - I only have a half-hour lunch. "

I pulled off at the next exit, and called her back, and got the details. My father had died about the same time the young woman and pulled me into a tight hug.


Susan Geffen's Eldercare community events have been so important to me, and I have tried to make as many as possible.

Today, November 12, 2016, she holds the last one before taking a long break, or doing these less often,  in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. I'm going there for it - about an hour away  (and three hours due to LA traffic coming back!)

Susan has helped SO many people, so many families. She and her husband, Joel, have worked tirelessly to make a difference in people's lives. They are moving on to now owning a home care  1Heart home care agency. I wish them well.

Thank you Susan and Joel for your Service.

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Caesi Bevis, Author / Speaker Bio

Bevis Consulting

Bevis Consulting

Principal of Bevis Consulting. I am a Futurist, Research Writer, Public Speaker, Voice Over Professional, Consultant, and Expert Witness with over 20+ years background in competitive intelligence, market research, and 13+ years in legislation research and consulting in both the U.S. and Canada. My marketing expertise in recent years includes social network and Internet marketing. I am the former President of the Canadian Business Intelligence Association. My PhD coursework is in Human Behavior Leadership, with an MBA with an International Finance focus, BBA with core courses in Marketing and AA in Advertising Design.

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