‘Tis the Season to Talk About Aging Issues

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The holidays are well and truly upon us. For many, that means spending extra time with family we don't see very often throughout the year. Families of older adults may consider using this opportunity to observe how things are going with their loved one and make any necessary suggestions or changes to ensure they are aging safely and happily.​

Of course, conversations about aging issues are easier recommended than had, which often makes it tempting to postpone them. Below are just a few of the topics that come up, and some common reasons why families find them so hard to address:

  • Safe driving: When it's time to give up the keys or restrict driving, many older adults feel their very independence is at stake. It also brings up logistical issues: how will they get to things like medical appointments, church, volunteer work and social engagements?
  • Living arrangements: Whether it's downsizing from their "forever home," or moving into assisted living or memory care, moving is hard under the best of circumstances. One of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful transition is to have open and constructive conversations that take into account the senior's wishes, their budget, and what they need to be healthy, happy and safe in their home.
  • Finances: This one might be too thorny and personal for families to tackle the specifics at the dinner table, but it's important to at least know that arrangements have been made and that there is someone (likely an outside party, like an attorney) in charge.
  • End-of-life decisions: Again, probably not something you want to bring up in the midst of the festivities, but it's worth taking a quiet, private moment to make sure you know what your loved ones final wishes are, if you don't already. At the very least, you can confirm that they are written down in a safe and easily-accessible place (and that you, or their medical power of attorney, knows where that place is).

Research by the Home Instead Senior Care network confirms that 68 percent of families wait too long to begin discussing and planning for aging and end-of-life issues, unnecessarily making them vulnerable to uncertainty, family fights and even legal disputes.

In order to not let this statistic happen to you, we have extensive resources, including a downloadable Action Plan for Successful Aging, help with overcoming potential conversation hurdles, specific tips for issues like driving, end-of-life planning and other issues, and so much more.

You can  also contact us any time to learn more about successful aging and how we may be able to help.


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