As we start out the new year you may be seeing many television advertisements enticing you to buy more containers for your stuff. The advertisers try to convince you that if you just had more containers you would be more organized. What typically happens to me is that I buy more containers, accumulate more stuff, and when I need that stuff I have to search through all the containers to finally find what I need!

I recently met with a new client who lives in a senior living community. One thing that impressed me about this client was the three-ringed notebook she pulled out that had clear instructions about what to do in case she had a medical emergency. Included in the notebook were instructions for finding her important papers, who she wanted to take care of her dog, and her instructions for her funeral.

In my business, having a client that has taken the time to find and update their important documents (will, power of attorney, living will, financial papers, birth certificate, social security card, Medicare card, deed to the house, etc.) is so helpful. Having access to these documents is necessary if my client ends up in the hospital, is having surgery, or needs to be transferred to a nursing home for rehab care or long-term care.

Would you be able to find your documents (or your parent’s documents) if there was a medical emergency?

Most of us put off organizing documents because it seems like a daunting task Does this sound like you? Maybe you’ve never given it much thought or don’t even know where to start.

After I saw what my client had done with a three-ringed notebook… I was determined to find something that I could recommend to my clients. One very helpful resource was a neatly organized book called the Peace of Mind Planner.

This spiral bound book quickly organizes your critical documents with easy to use tabbed sections to help you complete information including:


  • Personal and medical information
  • Key contacts
  • Important documents
  • Financial and business information
  • Instructions about your pets
  • Memberships, subscriptions for print publications, and automatic pay accounts that need to be stopped
  • Usernames and passwords for email, computer, and social media
  • Your personal wishes spelled out for family members or caretakers


This book will act as a tremendous resource to family members if you become incapacitated and can’t speak for yourself. Once you complete the planner, be sure to show it to a trusted family member — or your healthcare advocate — so that they’re aware of how to find the book and your important papers. You may also want to purchase a fire-safe storage box for this book and your documents.

Take it from me, a Certified Senior Advocate (CSA), it is so very important and helpful to loved ones and caregivers to have all of your important documents easy to find.

For more information about organizing your important documents, and other helpful tips for you or your loved ones, please visit Severino Health Advisors online where you’ll find out more about our services and how you can benefit from hiring a health advocate!