Posted: July 21, 2020
By: Kelly O’Connor, MA, CSA, CPRA, CDP, etc.
In the past 10 years as a senior living professional, I’ve found there are two types of families – the “not ready yets” and the “the crisis just hit the fans.” The “not ready yets” don’t realize that there is so much to do in preparation for a move to senior living and keep putting it off. The “crisis” families wish they would have been an up-to-speeder sooner, to have prevented the chaos they are currently in.
Here are the six top suggestions for families who expect to face elder care concerns in the next few years:
Many clients in their 80s and 90s do not have Power of Attorney documents and living wills in place, or the documents are outdated. This is a big mistake. Decide now who you would like to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Document those wishes. Review them every year to make sure your intentions are still the same. Have the courage to choose someone with the skillset and time needed to support you in your elder years, not just the person you like most.
Very few families have talked through the tough decisions that will be faced along the elder care journey. It is always best to have your wishes in writing and distributed to everyone in the family years ahead of time. Consider holding a family meeting so everyone is on the same page, and in the same room.
Explore the many different floor plans available at our senior living community. Make sure to contact us to see what we have available to fit your needs and lifestyle.
In the Denver Metro area, there are more than 400 choices of senior living communities. If you want to move to a specific community, get on the waitlist immediately. If you are unclear about options, consider touring a few communities and start gathering ideas about the lifestyle you see for yourself.
Years ago, families passed down furniture, china, crystal and silver. That just isn’t happening anymore. Consider what your family might want, and then make a plan to sell or donate the items. Start drawer by drawer and closet by closet, so your family doesn’t have to do all the work. Bring in a real estate agent to see what improvements might be made to increase your property value.
Young families and young professionals today are extremely busy, and it’s harder than ever to sit down together and talk about the old days. One day, they will wish they took the time to learn about the family history and see the threads of intelligence, creativity, athleticism and love that have woven your family history. Give them a gift of your story by writing it down. Sort through photos and start to organize them, with names and dates, so that future generations can enjoy them. Many are choosing electronic systems, and perhaps your grandkids can help.
Find a professional who will help you or your family, if an elder crisis should hit. Find someone who understands your values and has experience to help you with healthcare, financial, housing decisions and more. Senior Living is a business, so hire someone who understand how the system works, so they can advocate for you. You deserve to be fully supported, cared for and loved.
If you or a loved one is preparing to move, Clermont Park has resources to help you plan financially and practically. We invite you to join us for a 2-part virtual webinar on how to create power and purpose in retirement. You can find registration information here.
Kelly O’Connor is known throughout the country as SeniorCareKelly. She is an elder care consultant and senior living placement advisor based in Denver, Colorado. Before she started her own agency in 2015, she worked for Christian Living Communities and considers CLC “home.”
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