Getting older is inevitable. However, the way we age is greatly influenced by how well we practice prevention and preparation. In honor of National Preparedness Month, we’re reminding you that being prepared is about way more than just facing disastrous weather (but don’t forget to stop by the National Preparedness link and check out our hurricane prep. resources too!). Today, we offer you preparation tips and resources so you can age wisely. With a little investment of your time, you can be ready to face the changes and challenges of aging and caregiving.
Get organized. Create a record-keeping system: organize key documents and create a medical file (key family history and your medical history of diagnoses, surgeries, medications, as well as current providers and status of treatment).
Comprehensive Eldercare Checklist (preparing ahead and what to do at different stages of caregiving or needing help)
The Document Locator List, mentioned in our checklist, lists key documents to get together and ensure are accessible to anyone who might be involved in your care (or dealing with your estate after death)
Be legal. Know the key legal documents you need for healthcare decision making and estate planning and keep your documents/plan up-to-date.
Talk about it. It’s all too rare that families talk about death or illness, which only makes an already emotional situation more difficult. Would your loved ones have any idea what you might want if something happens? Have you offered any direction about where/how you’d prefer to receive care or how you’d want (or not) your money spent?
We’ve long been advocates for family eldercare planning, sharing tips for families to be better prepared for elder caregiving with NBC news and offering care consultations so that families can discuss concerns with an expert before a crisis.
When facing a change or challenge, be comfortable with your options/information. In a crisis, everything is rushed. Sometimes you can slow down the process or get outside help to speed past your learning curve. Be an advocate for yourself or your loved one and ensure you’ve received the information you need and the time to make the decision.
For example, we have written numerous articles about hospital readmissions, which sometime stem from gaps in the discharge planning process such as communication and follow-up care. We offer tips and discharge planning checklists for families, but most importantly, we urge you to be comfortable with the process or have an advocate by your side to assist.
For help, call us at 727-447-5845. We have lots of resources to help you prepare, so browse our site and follow our blog for the best of Aging Wisely.