When the Bottom Falls Out

Long term care planning is another “hot spot” for aging parents. Attempts by family members to pressure, warn, or scare an older adults into planning decisions usually fail. That’s why we created the When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map.

The When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map offers families a one-page diagram that portrays the type of decisionthat would have to be made if things fall apart and helps families deal with long term care planning issues in four ways:

  • It reduces the burden and risks of not knowing the big picture. The When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map provides families with a global perspective on the depth and complexity of long term care planning issues. Many times this information is fuzzy, incomplete or only known by a few.
  • It reduces the burden of caregiving handoffs. The When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map offers a quick reference guide for other family members who want to help with sorting out or clarifying choices and preferences.
  • It reduces the burden of integrating long term care planning information. The When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map serves as an information hub for sending and planning updates to the caregiving team.
  • It reduces the burden of orchestrating a crisis. The When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map becomes an important resource for coordinating a response to a significant change in heath or living status.


How to use the When The Bottom Falls Out Mind Map

In situations where aging parents are unwilling to discuss long term care planning issues, give them a copy of the map with the following statement. “These are the things we are going to have to decide with or without you. We will do our best when things fall apart.” No scolding. No lecturing.

In situation where parents are willing to discuss long term care planning, give them a copy of the map with the following statement. “These are your choices. Our goal is to honor them. Spend some time looking at the map and make notes about your instructions, preferences and wishes.” Let them set the pace of the follow up conversation.

Find out more about caregiver mind maps here

2 responses to “When the Bottom Falls Out

  1. As an owner of a memory care biz, these maps could be very useful to families facing a crisis. However, their value is diminished by the complexity of the graphics used For example, “where to start’ is hard to find because the boxes are roughly the same size and color alone is not sufficient to denote the starting point. IMO, the map tries to jam too many types of “bottoms” in one map. A separate map for each major cause for a “bottom” might be simpler for stressed people to use.
    In short, a rethink by a graphic design firm skilled in depicting decision trees would greatly increase the value of these maps for families in crisis. Recommendation; Sensical Design LLC.

  2. Actually, the compression and lack of an obvious starting point is intentional to portray the magnitude and scope of the task and degree anxiety that surrounds lack of planning when a crisis hits. Clearly, this is not a crisis management map; it’s a reality check map as well as an effective prompt to help older adults who are delaying long term planning to reconsider their position. With two-thirds of Americans lacking even a basic will, “failure to plan” is a major concern of families caring for older adults.

    We have distributed over 200,000 of copies of “When the Bottom Falls Out” to famiies and advisors who have reported back to us they found it very effective in presenting and advancing plannng conversations.

    For our commercial clients, we provide six additional customized mind maps that address the major bottoms of the “When the Bottom Falls Out” map to facilitate in-depth discussions on these important topics.

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