Many wait for a crisis to spur them into action. But when a need arises, there often isn’t time to educate yourself about senior living options, visit communities, downsize and make a move. Planning ahead means collecting facts, options and resources. It means consulting with those who can help you figure out the details. And it means becoming confident that you’re doing the right thing. This process – planning – takes time.
Plan for Senior Living Before You Think You Need It
Almost 60% of families say they’re uncomfortable talking about age-related issues. Only 23% of women and 35% of men say they’ve addressed long-term care in their retirement plans. And only 2 in 5 people have talked to their families about living and care preferences as they age. Don’t let this be you; be proactive instead. Overcome the inclination to keep silent about what’s important, take charge and plan ahead.
Don’t wait to get started with senior living conversations and planning – for these 6 reasons:
- Senior living is complicated. Understanding your options takes time. From location and financing to services and amenities, starting the search while you’re independent can help you make an informed decision.
- Learning all you can and exploring your options while you still can, puts you in charge of your future. Just knowing you have a plan can be very liberating for you and very comforting for your loved ones.
- Some of the best communities have long waiting lists. Making an early decision about where and how you want to live will give you the opportunity to get on the wait list now. And many communities encourage you to avail yourself of their events and amenities while you wait to move in … it’s a nice way to get to know the people and the place before you actually become a resident.
- Choosing the right community and making a move can improve everyone’s quality of life. Family members will worry less about how they’ll keep you safe in your private home. They’ll also be free from concerns about juggling care, family life and careers. Adult children can turn their attention away from caretaking or care management – and focus more attention on spending time with their aging loved one. And the seniors themselves will have abundant opportunities to take part in life enrichment activities, wellness programs, and all the benefits and services of the senior living community.
- It takes time to get your financial and legal house in order. You’ll want to create a living will and durable power of attorney, update your current will, and review financial investments, insurance policies and estate plans. It’s important to have all this in order at any age, but the need to do so becomes more urgent the older you get.
- Planning ahead is a smart plan. It’s the best way to be sure your family understands your hopes and wishes for the future, and honors your preferences. Plus, choosing your own community while you’re still active and healthy may be one of the best things you can do for your family. When you can’t speak for yourself, your loved ones have to guess what you want, where you should live and who will speak for you in the event of a medical emergency. So take the pressure off yourself and your adult children. Make your plan and help everyone know your goals.
Ready to learn how to get started? Download The Senior Care Continuum: A Quick Guide to Your Options to help you begin your search.