As we age and the possibility of life challenges increase, there will be a need to have a conversation regarding some issues. This discussion, with your family and friends, details the anticipated outcomes in your own affairs, health, and safety. This information will allow you to have an active role in shaping how you want to live your senior years. It is about being proactive, not reactive. We have several links from our articles on The Oldish that will assist you in making some of these difficult choices. This is an area that people need to be prepared for and we know this information will be helpful.
Key areas to consider include:
Accommodation – how long can you remain independent in your own home or in a seniors’ residence? If you are still living at home, what would trigger a need for additional support or home care services? When do you feel is the right time to move to a seniors’ residence or long-term care? This article assists you to determine the right time for a move.
Finances – how much do you have in savings? Are family members willing, and able, to contribute to home-care, a retirement residence, or, if necessary, long-term care? Do you have insurance? Help is just a click away.
Health and wellness – In the event of life-saving measures, what medical interventions do you want in place? Do you want specific time-lines attached to them? Is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) in place? A DNR Form is a request not to have any CPR administered to restore cardiac or respiratory functions. Let this link assist you.
Do you have a Power of Attorney in place? Who has been designated as the Power of Attorney (POA) in the event you are unable to direct your care medically and financially? We have some help in choosing your POA.
Would hospice be an option? It is important to share this information with a primary health care provider and your family. If you want to be at home this needs to be discussed as well. This way your caregiver is aware of your wishes and will be able to do whatever they can to follow the directive.
End of life – What are your end of life wishes? Funeral? Service? How will the costs be covered? Consider recording your end of life wishes and share these with family members and your healthcare team. Here are some thoughts about end of life planning.
Having these discussions with your adult children or caregiver, enables you to have an open dialogue about how they can support your wishes while being realistic as to what capacity they can offer in terms of support.
An older adult never wants to become a ‘burden’ or be fraught with anxiety in a crisis. This planning enables any involved family members to acquire an understanding of how your thoughts led to your decisions. For you, it provides a sense of comfort in knowing that your family will be equipped to deliver on your wishes. It is a collective understanding of the roles and responsibilities in seeing a plan through. It gives you peace of mind and your family the comfort in knowing that they are doing exactly what their loved one wanted.