According to a national study conducted by the National Institute on Aging, about 22% of senior Americans are single and without a family, which makes them elder orphans. Additionally, there are many other seniors who are widowed, have families that live too far from them, or are simply estranged from their families. If this situation seems familiar to you, you need to begin planning well in advance for future caregiving requirements.
Save as Much Money as You Can
Consult a financial advisor to learn about your options for paying for future caregiving and healthcare needs like an assisted living facility or senior home care, suggests an experienced caregiver in Eagan. If you don’t have a family to help care for you and pay for your needs in the future, you need to save money in advance to ensure that you’ll have the funds you need later on.
Organize All Relevant Paperwork
Consult an estate-planning lawyer to help get all your paperwork sorted out. At a bare minimum, you need to have at least a power of attorney, a will, a healthcare proxy, and advanced healthcare directives.
You could likewise consider getting help from a geriatric care specialist to find out about your caregiving options and the general healthcare system. Consider including a handyman in your care team since you’ll probably need various renovation projects at home to allow for safe aging later on.
Keep a healthcare notebook for organizing all your crucial health information. Make sure to inform your lawyer or healthcare proxy about your notebook, so they could access it in case of a health crisis. Your notebook must contain your health history, your doctors’ information, and all medications you’re taking.
Nurture the relationships you already have and try forging new ones with like-minded individuals. This way, you’ll have a network of trusted friends that you could call upon should the need arises. Start with your community. Volunteer in charitable, civic, or religious organizations or help your neighbors, so they’ll do the same for you when you need them.
Making preparations in advance and clearly communicating your needs and wishes in writing or through your healthcare proxy is of utmost importance. It would be more difficult to get your affairs in order if you wait longer to get everything done. Fortunately, proper and advance planning could help ensure that you live safely and with dignity for as long as you can.