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Leslie Friedel, Chief Executive Officer of Stillwater Hospice, smiles in a blue top. The image features the SYM Financial Advisors logo and a green banner with the word "EmpowHER," highlighting her commitment to palliative care.

What You Should Know About the Messy Middle of Life Limiting Illnesses

We live longer but our capacity is diminishing and in practical care giving it’s not always clear who is making the decisions from day-to-day. As a financial advisor, I work with clients everyday who live in the gray space with their loved ones.  This is the messy middle, where caring for those who are perfectly capable one day, but then slowly diminishing the next, is a confounding effort. I am always encountering professionals who enlighten me to better ways to navigate what I call the scary “C”s, caregiving, confusion, chaos, and capacity. – Michelle Hipskind, CFP®

In this insightful episode of EmpowHER, host Michelle Hipskind welcomes Leslie Friedel, CEO of Stillwater Hospice, for an engaging conversation on how palliative care and grief support can help bring dignity, clarity, and legitimacy to this messy middle.

About our guest, Leslie Friedel:

With more than 16 years of experience in nonprofit healthcare leadership, Leslie brings a wealth of knowledge to the discussion. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s in social work from the University of Saint Francis and Indiana University, respectively. A licensed health facility administrator and social worker, Leslie is deeply involved in the community, serving as board chair of the Indiana University Fort Wayne School of Medicine, treasurer of the Indiana Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and secretary of the Alliance for Human Services. Join us as Leslie shares her passion for healthcare innovation and her commitment to serving the 12-county region in northeast Indiana through Stillwater Hospice’s vital services.

Summary and highlights from the show:

• Understanding Palliative Care: The podcast highlights the benefits of palliative care, focusing on patients with life-limiting illnesses or chronic conditions, and how it can help improve decision-making and quality of life.

• Challenges for Caregivers: Discussion on the difficulties faced by caregivers, often women, who balance personal responsibilities with the demands of caring for someone with a life-limiting illness.

• Navigating Legal and Healthcare Decisions: The conversation examines the complexities of legal tools like power of attorney and healthcare directives, especially in the “gray area” when a patient’s capacity is diminished but not entirely lost.

• Role of Competency and Autonomy in Healthcare Decisions: An exploration of the balance between respecting a patient’s autonomy and assessing competency in making healthcare decisions.

• Anticipatory Grief: Leslie explains anticipatory grief, experienced by caregivers and loved ones prior to the actual loss, encompassing various emotions and decision-making pressures.

• Importance of Early Conversations and Planning: The discussion emphasizes the necessity of having early and open conversations about end-of-life wishes and advanced directives to ease decision-making during critical times.

• Managing Financial and Legal Aspects: There is an acknowledgment of the challenges in handling finances and legal matters, like selling a property or accessing resources, during palliative care situations.

• Finding Support and Building a Supportive Community: The importance of creating a support system comprising professionals, support groups, and other caregivers to navigate the emotional and practical challenges of palliative care.

• Conclusion and Resources: The episode concludes with an encouragement for listeners to engage in proactive planning and conversation about end-of-life care and provides resources for further information and support.

Connect with Leslie Friedel:
Phone (260)435-3222

About SYM Financial and EmpowHER Podcast:

The EmpowHER Podcast is a platform for women to come together to gain financial insight and strategies with a tribe of brilliant women. This show is brought to you by Financial Advisor Michelle Hipskind, CFP ®. Michelle educates on the many important aspects of financial planning and brings in additional professionals that provide advice in their areas of expertise, giving listeners access to the appropriate professionals that can help solve the problems many women face. In-person events are held in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. In addition to the podcast, local events, webinars, and blogs are available for all women who want to be part of the EmpowHER community.

Email Michelle at mhipskind@sym.com with questions, comments, and to schedule a one-on-one conversation.

Disclosure: Certain links above are to third-party sites and are not affiliated with SYM Financial Corporation (“SYM”). SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.

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