Our lives are dictated by a series of plans and choices. Where do I go to college? What do I value in a partner? Where should I live? What kind of retirement plan should I choose? The exception to the rule seems to be the only thing that we really should have a plan for, given it’s the only thing 100% of us are certain to face. Death is the singular thing that connects every human on this planet, yet bring it up at the dinner table and risk silence and dirty looks. The result is that far too many daughters, sons, spouses, parents, and legal guardians are left with the burden of making those calls without knowing if they’re the right ones to make. And many people are left spending their final days in a way they wouldn’t have chosen for themselves. Talking about your own death or the death of a loved one can be really painful or incredibly awkward, but to curb some of the unknown and make sure the people in your life are honored and remembered how they’d want to be, here are a few questions you might consider asking: Do you have a will? Do you have an advanced care directive, living will, POA? What financial and legal accounts (or advisors) do you have? What insurance plans do you have? Where are the policies located? If you needed to, would you ever consider moving? When and where? What do you want your funeral to be like? Is there anything we should make sure to include or exclude? Do you want to be cremated or buried? Where can I find your IDs (social security card, license, passport, birth certificate) How do you want to be remembered? By Alyssa Ruderman who is the Co-Founder and COO of Lantern , the single-point digital resource for end-of-life planning.
As you gather this season for turkey, trimmings and togetherness, do things seem different with your parents, grandparents or other aging family members? Perhaps mom or dad are forgetting names or events or to turn off appliances. It’s tough for grandpa to climb stairs or get around the bathroom. A beloved aunt or uncle may be driving too slow or erratically in traffic. If older loved ones are having difficulty with tasks that were easier not too long ago, how will you protect them?
Here are three steps to begin: Step One: Download this checklist (See Self-Assessment for Aging PDF) to determine the Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living that your loved one can (or cannot) perform. Step Two: Search for and interview up to three qualified professional homemaker/companion and care agencies in your state and region. Select one that answers these questions to your satisfaction. If your loved one lives in Massachusetts or Connecticut, AgingInPlaceToolkit.com ’s list of home care agencies is a great place to start. Step Three: Connect with a certified aging in place remodeling specialist who can evaluate and recommend ways to modify your loved one’s home to ensure their safety, mobility and independence.
Need more support to manage an aging loved one’s evolving needs? AgingInPlaceToolkit’s advisors are available to help your family with ongoing counsel and active support. Contact us here to learn about our aging in place service packages.