By Sherry Kutz, Managing Director at Assured Assistance, LLC, GRCA Team of Experts for Senior Care
We plan when we are younger by saving in a 401K and purchasing insurance to be sure we can retire when we want to. But what about planning for what happens beyond retirement? Or when you have enjoyed years of retirement and your health begins to change? You plan for health changes when you are younger so why not now? Planning for the future of unknowns can be scary. Educating yourself at an earlier age means you are more prepared emotionally, socially and financially. It is hard to think about things like, where do I want to live the rest of my life? Do I want to downsize my home? Do I want to live in a retirement community or assisted living facility? But these are all important questions that should be answered, and the answers should be shared with your loved ones in case you need them to speak on your behalf.
A Care Plan
It is important to have a care plan in place, so your loved ones know your wishes. This could eliminate having them decide on your behalf should you be unable to. The fact is family caregiving can take a financial and emotional toll on family members. While caregivers are affected, often it is the care recipient who is most affected when things don’t go as planned. It is hard to imagine not having control over your future, but it happens all too often. When there is a physical or mental change that prevents one from making decisions, caregivers are forced to make decisions. The more knowledge you have shared with your family, the more likely you are to have your wishes carried out.
So, what types of things should you be looking at?
The simple answer is everything. Make sure your financial plans are in order. Talk with your financial adviser or accountant. Talk with your lawyer to be sure all your legal matters are taken care of. Have a conversation with your doctor. Make sure they know what your wishes are in case of a medical emergency. Investigate the different types of housing and ask questions. Visit retirement communities, independent-living apartments, personal care facilities or any type of living arrangement you think you may want. If you want to stay in your home, investigate your options to help you do that as your life changes. Today there are many at-home services available to you. Educate yourself on what they are, how they work and how they are paid for. All this information will help you to make the best decision possible.
Think this won’t happen to you, think again. As a nation, we are growing older. Today, 30 million households in the United States are caring for adults over 50 years of age and that number will double in the next 25 years. Caregiving will be as common as finding childcare.
If you have not started this conversation, it is not too late.
You don’t need to tackle everything in one day. Go slowly and work through it as you can. I am happy to help get the conversation started.
Sherry Kutz has helped many Berks County families find the right senior care fit for them. Navigating through the process is not easy, but Sherry listens to the wants and needs of the family. There is no one-size-fits-all.
About Assured Assistance
Based in Reading, PA, Assured Assistance is a local non-medical care provider. We stand out in our personal, hands-on approach to our completely customizable services which best fit your needs. Ranging from companionship, personal care, and errand services, to light housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation, our non-medical services cover a broad spectrum of needs. You tell us where, when, and how you need help, and we will be there to make it happen.