Preparing for Aging

People tend to avoid conversations around aging because it is understandably uncertain and uncomfortable. Preparing for Aging.

“What is your plan if you become unable to take care of yourself?”

*Uncomfortable laughter* “Oh just drop me off in the middle of the woods and leave me there”

Statistically, 70% of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their life[1]. As people continue to live longer, the likelihood of requiring care continues to increase, so these conversations need to happen before they become issues.

It’s common for healthy people to think they’ll never be faced with a serious event. Health plays a factor in needing long-term care but not as we would expect. Ironically, healthy people may have an increased need for care as living a long life also means a greater chance for a physical and mental decline. Additionally, more intelligent people are less likely to seek help or admit when they begin to experience physical and mental decline.

If you’re living, you’re aging. Here are four main categories to consider when preparing for the future:

Living Situation

First, consider a living situation and what it will look like. Often, people wish to live in their own home for the duration of their life. This can create issues if the home is not aging-friendly. This includes things like stairs, slick surfaces, long distances to grocery stores and basic medical care. Additionally, owning a home requires maintenance and upkeep which can become increasingly difficult with age. If the home cannot be renovated to accommodate aging, consider other options such as retirement communities or moving to a different, more accommodating space. Ask the question, “What is my ideal living situation?”

Driving

Driving becomes increasingly dangerous to an aging person as well as others on the road. Taking away driving can be especially difficult. Thankfully with today’s technology, Uber and Lyft can be a great resource to keep the feeling of freedom. To quell the fears of having a license removed, aging people can take a driving assessment with an occupational therapist.

Financial Care and Healthcare Decision Making

With the assistance of an estate planning attorney, Power of Attorney documents for finances and healthcare can allow a trusted person to manage the affairs of a person no longer able to do so on their own.

Begin making formal agreements before health begins to decline. Discuss how maintenance of the home will be addressed, establish arrangements for safe driving, and obtain proper legal documents. At One Degree, we address these issues as part of the financial planning process and can provide referrals to more advanced elder care resources.

[1] https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need

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More Reading: Do I Need Long-term Care Insurance?

This does not constitute an investment recommendation. Investing involves risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Consult your financial advisor for what is appropriate for you. See our website at onedegreeadvisors.com for full disclosures.