Laura Biewer and Valerie VanBooven discuss providing notary service in facilities or in homes of the elderly.
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This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience share their advice. So let's get to it in a few sentences. Tell us who you are and what you do.
Thank you, Valerie. My name is Laura beware and I serve the public by providing notary services and I focus and specialize for those services to be in hospital setting, skilled nursing assisted living homes of the elderly, those who need access, but can't get to notary services.
And we were just talking before this interview started about how important this is and how important it is for a notary who's going to be doing notarizations and things like this in these settings, how important it's for them to understand what's going on a little bit better maybe than just your typical mobile notary that comes to the bank or to your house.
Absolutely. You know, what, what prompted me to move into this area of service was I owned and operated an assisted living facility, myself. I had a six bed, it was called leis place right here in Modesto, California. And during that time there were several occasions where clients needed documents, notarized and had a hard time getting a notary, willing to come over to the facility to take care of it. And they're saying, oh, it's just too hard. It takes too long. I don't know if they know what they're doing. They can't sign their name. I mean, just one excuse after another. And I just, all right, heck with this, I'm just gonna become a notary myself and provide services. And what I found is of course there was a conflict of interest. I couldn't do it for my own clients, but what I did is that I found another person who felt the same way she provided for my clients.
And I went to other places. I volunteered for hospice this for 10 years, providing notary services to those who could know you know, in no other way, get access to those services. And now I train other notaries who are mobile notaries, but need to understand the special extra special requirements when you're dealing with somebody who's more fragile. If you're in an environment like a ha where it may not be as private where they may not be, they're definitely not gonna be at their best. Right? And, and there's a, a, just a lot of emotion or psychological drama that may be going on in their life at this moment because of whatever it is. And by understanding that it makes the point, it may go more smoothly. It, it communicates care and compassion for the signer themselves. And it gives you an opportunity to do more than stamp a document, right? Because you're really doing the paper in and of itself may not seem important, but what it does for them such as a healthcare directive and powers of attorney so that their life can keep going even if they can't admin administer that or orchestrate that. So that's what I'm about.
Well, that's awesome because I'll tell you having had documents and notarized with, and for my father who has vascular dementia and with, and for my mother-in-law, who is in a nursing home currently. And the, the good news is we did all these things before things got too bad, right. So we were able to all meet somewhere, but having done all of this, it is it's a stressful time for everybody, right? Depending on how much the person understands, I feel like they're giving up, you know, potentially giving up their freedom or their right to choose. It's just, there's a whole lot of emotions that go on. It's the first not maybe not the first, but it big step in a realization that I'm not able to maybe make these decisions anymore for myself or potentially coming up soon. I'm not going to be able to make these decisions. So it is a really emotional time for family and for the person who may be signing durable, power of attorney documents and things like that. So it, I, I think that having someone like you, who specializes in a more compassionate, more educated you know, senior care type, you know, education, because you've been there, you've done it and you've been around it all these years is a really needed thing. It's not just being a notary, it's being a I don't or what you would call it a, a senior service notary, or, yeah,
I don't, I don't have a name for it, but I I encourage notaries to work with me before they take on those kinds of assignments, because they're, it's just gonna be better for them and their experience. And, you know, there's things for the notary, cuz you get pulled into the draw and you have to know how to not be pulled into that drama and remember what your job is. And at the same time, give the space and grace for the family to kind of work through what's happening when you're there. Right. And, and it's a balance.
It is. And, and there's a fine line between what you should interject or what you should add or what you should offer and what you should not be doing. You know? I mean, I, I can imagine you've, you've come across some sticky situations where, you know, probably the answer, the right answer, but everybody's kind of looking at each other like, well,
Right. And if I interject where I shouldn't, I could be unintentionally engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. So they're, you know, sometimes when people are like, why is the notary not telling me what to do? They need to remember, I'm not an attorney, I'm a notary and I have limits. And if I exceed those limits, then legally I've created an issue for them and for me.
Yeah, absolutely. And talk to me, talk to me a little bit more about training. Do you provide some formal training services for other notaries? Yeah.
Tell us a little bit. I do. So besides being a notary for your service, mobile notary, that's the notary business. I have another line of business called coach me, Laura. And that is specifically for mobile notaries, who that's, how they make their living. And they want to expand beyond doing loan signings, right. They, they want to be able to serve the public in many ways. And I have separate modules that I put together for them to walk through what they would need to know. And I have one just for hospital setting, skilled nursing, I and assisted living those three. Then I have another one that's on documents, powers of attorney healthcare directives last will and testaments so that they understand what do these documents look like? What do they do? Where's my part, where's their part. What's important for me to understand about what they are doing when I'm in the room. And so those are just a couple of the ones I have like three or four modules that all are around senior care or at least those who compromised, cuz not everybody's a senior necessarily, but they may be younger, but have something compromising their ability to take care of their own issues.
Yes, absolutely. And that's great. I, I, you know, I think meaning more of that. So what we're gonna do is make sure that your website or whatever inform contact information you have is with this video so that if folks are wondering, you know how can I learn more about that and not just do loans
I, I think as it relates to me coming in to these facilities and trying to work with their clients that they too need to give themselves the space and grace to step aside when it's needed. Because the family's still the family and they, even, if you don't agree with what it is, they're setting up, that's the right to make those choices influenced by those that are there. And it's one thing to give facts or information to family about what's happening. It's another thing to suggest or influence, you know, this is how, you know, you should do it. And I think when that is done, it's done out of caring
And, and there needs to be to, to always keep that, that professional line that says, I can do this much for you. Everything I'm allowed to do, I will do
The time comes when they can't speak for themselves, but until that day they can still sign for themselves and speak for themselves and make decisions for themselves. And I think that some of the care providers don't realize that either. Yeah. And they'll say, well, you know, you, I have to call your daughter. I experience it. My mom's an assisted living now and she wanted it to take a cab cuz I was out of town to go somewhere and they didn't wanna let her out because they couldn't reach me because I'm listed as her attorney, in fact, and healthcare proxy. And I had to go explain to them, you know, she knows exactly what she's about and that she can knows how to take a cab she's blind by the way. So there's a little extra, I'm sure that's what they were concerned about.
That she was just gonna go get in account. What was she gonna do when she got there? How would she know? My mom has had independent living training. She knows she lived for 20 years blind. She knows how to do it. Right. And I had to help them understand that's not what that document means. It just means that I'm sharing the power with her and should she not be available? Because she can't speak for herself, then I'm gonna speak for her. But until that moment happens, she is allowed to make her decisions to leave the facility, to do whatever she wants until she demonstrates that she cannot. And I found it interesting that they really didn't understand that. Yes.
Yeah, that's true. I, I can remember specifically when we had durable power of attorney set up for my dad, reassuring him, mm-hmm
My kids went to college, Valerie, first thing I did healthcare directors and powers of attorney because they were going away and how was I gonna help them? They're not minors anymore. So they're not gonna share medical stuff. I'm not gonna able to do anything unless I had S that said, so if they were in a car crash or something happened, thank goodness it didn't, but we had paperwork in place. Should that take place? And my husband and I both, you know, for 15, 20 years, I've had paperwork in place, you know, where we're young, it's not for old people. It's for, for everybody. I just happen to find myself working often with seniors or adults that are compromised in some way who have never taken care of it yet. Oh yeah. And, and, and that's, that's how this came to be. When I noticed how often this was happening, I left being a care provider and sold my business and decided, this is my mission in life to educate people about these documents, to help people get access, who can't get access and to help them understand what, what really is going on, because it's a, it's a big deal for them feeling like they're giving up that last, you know, they give up their house, they give up their car, you know, they just keep giving up, giving up, giving up things and they feel like this, the last thing, right?
The last thing that, that they have control over. Yes. And it's scary for them. It is to do this. So this is a big deal. And I'm sharing that moment with them. I share the most intimate moments with people that are making hard decisions. I get joyful things as well. I do adoption and other things, but in this area and end of life, I do a lot of end of life. I took training with hospice in my town. And so that I'd know what to do and how to handle people who are at home or, or at a hospice house end of life situations. So if you're, if you're in not who happens to see this and you think, wow, I wanna do that. That touches my heart. I would like to be a part of that. Please get some training, get some knowledge about what's happening in these environments. And what are these documents about before you dive in because you will feel better. They will feel better about it. And you know, what I love is that I can serve the public. I can do something that touches my heart and I can make a great living doing that.
Yeah, absolutely. I, I really think this is a great addition to anyone who already has that stamp.
Right. So you know, we did, we had some documents drawn up. That was just, we used to use them time. We went out of town. I, I traveled a lot of the time and you, and so if my husband was going with me, we would just, you know, have another one notarized and, and just mm-hmm,
You know I'm very close with my adult sons who both live in town and their families. And so if it's a, a big win my idea is everybody come over and let's have let's eat.
Yep, absolutely. Yep. Recharge those batteries and fill back up with compassion and kind of some love and energy for the next week. So that's awesome. I'm glad you live so close that you guys can do that. Yeah. And I also wanna say happy holidays, happy new year. And cuz we're getting close to the end of the year here. So thank you very much for coming on the, on the interview and doing this with us. I appreciate that.
Thank you, Valerie. I just, I so happy I had the opportunity to do this because a lot of people don't think about some of these mobile services that they might have to bring in. And I think this one's a real important one. It can be a life changing one.
It is absolutely. It's a great service. So thank you very much.
You're so welcome.
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