Discussing plans for life’s final years can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is vital to a peaceful transition into the later stages of life. We have found that planning for the time in their lives when a person can no longer care for themselves is more frightening to the individual and their loved ones than discussing and planning for their death and funeral arrangements. This causes individuals to avoid planning entirely, and it becomes stressful when they realize that they stand in need of long-term care.
It is time to change our perspective and shift the way that society thinks about planning for the later stages in their lives. Planning provides individuals an opportunity to communicate their wishes to those who will be responsible for making decisions as they age. It provides peace of mind for all who are involved and brings loved ones closer together. One should identify the right people to help them in planning. These people may include a family member, an attorney, a financial planner, an insurance agent, or a funeral director. Seeking the emotional support from those closest to you in conjunction with professionals that can arrange all your affairs will aid you in having a peaceful experience as you plan.
Reflect on your goals and aspirations, and work to fulfill them. Ensure that you take into account your physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs. There are many options available to the aging population, which allows you to have more control over your future. If you would like to stay in your home, which most seniors do, there are steps that you can take to prepare. These include making home modifications, having proper assistive devices (for balance, standing, walking, transfers, bending, reaching, grasping, eyesight, hearing), and having an emergency kit and call system. Consider family or professional help with medication management, nutrition, and other personal services.
Ensure that you explore all medical options that are available to you as you consider staying at home and aging in place. Some of your options include involving yourself in senior centers or adult day care centers while caregivers are away for the day. In-home medical care is also available and is commonly referred to as “home health”. Along with this, hospice care is also made available for those seeking to stay in their home. Lastly, non-medical care at home is also available. These services include meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication management, transportation services, aid with personal services, and care for those who are dealing with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
As you think about the future, do not worry. Do not let fear turn into complacency. It is important to realize that, while the future is unknown, there will always be people to help you along the way. That is why Home Instead Senior Care was established, and that is why we continue to work. Whether we are helping prepare people for the future, or serving those who find themselves in need, we do so with love. As you begin to plan, never hesitate to reach out for more information. And if you or a loved one decides to stay at home, we will be there to provide comfort and peace of mind to all of those involved.
For a Free Consultation, please visit www.homeinstead.com, or call us at (888) 572-9698.
Editor’s Note: By Brandon Herring, Director of Community Outreach at Home Instead Senior Care.