Every family does so many things to prepare for the future: We think about saving for our education, a home, and retirement. We plan next year’s vacation and paying off our debts. But when it comes to planning for old age, we start to get uncomfortable. Many families procrastinate on this stage of future planning, justifying the delay because everyone is still in good health. But the perfect time to plan for the future is as far ahead as possible – that is, when everyone is still in good health and the topic of conversation is much less stressful.
The advantages of planning ahead for old age, care, and end of life are obvious – even if we do want to ignore them. When a senior loved one’s health condition changes, it is a very stressful time for the family. Having the logistics of change already discussed and determined takes away a huge burden of stress, so your family can focus on being together.
Things your family should include in their future planning file, and do now, include:
- Finalise wills.
- Delegate power of attorney.
- Determine care options – will you stay at home, or move to a facility? Where would you move? Who would provide care at home?
- Financials – what is in place for care? Make sure the individual with power of attorney has everything they need here.
- Make sure everyone in the family is aware of everyone’s wishes in regards to end of life care.
While it may not seem obvious to review care options now, it is extremely beneficial to ensuring the transition is seamless when the day comes. Allowing your senior loved one to be involved in the process will help everyone feel much better about it, and help them to maintain their independence.