As with many things in life, things usually go much smoother when you plan and do your research. Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan…It can’t be said enough. Some may be asking themselves, “What am I supposed to be planning for?” The answer is aging. Though almost all of us joke about getting older, very few of us actually plan on it happening to us. It is kind of like a hurricane. We live in Florida where a hurricane occasionally comes through and it is remarkable how many people are not prepared for one to hit them. The main distinction between hurricanes and aging is that everybody ages. So, I say it again, you cannot plan enough.
So where should you start the planning process? Probably the best place to start is with research on the available resources in your community. Resources such as Senior Friendship Centers, the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida, the Alvin Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, and United Way 211 are great resources when you are trying to find out what services are available for the senior population. Those organizations can assist when a crisis strikes or they can help with long term planning before you find yourself in a crisis situation.
Long term health care insurance is relatively inexpensive and can help if a crisis happens; although may not be a feasible option for everyone. There may come a time when it is necessary for a person to move to a location that is better equipped to meet their needs. Many of our clients say they do not want to end up in a nursing home or caregivers may have promised their loved one that they would never place them in a nursing home. While nursing homes are a valuable resource, the reality is that they are not the only option. The living options for seniors needing assistance grows every year. There are assisted living facilities, family group homes, independent senior living facilities, and many more.
Planning for aging is something that most people avoid, but for those that do plan, much stress can be avoided. It is key to do your research and know what that your options are so you are prepared for what you may need as you age. Remember, aging happens to everyone.
Senior Friendship Centers: (239) 275-1881
The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida: (239) 652-6900
Alvin Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center: (239) 437-3007
United Way 211 – 211 or (239) 433-3900