5 Tips for Senior Planning in Phoenix
It’s always a good idea to plan ahead for the eldercare of our loved ones. Pre-planning is important to ensuring good choices are made instead of waiting for a crisis to occur. Trying to bring family members together during a crisis and agree on a plan of action leads to poor choices and hasty decision-making. Your parents’ well-being should never be an afterthought. It isn’t easy thinking about our parents’ health or cognitive ability declining as they age, but we must be prepared. Solterra Senior Living offers some tips for senior planning in Phoenix.
What Are Your Parent’s Needs?
The first step when creating a senior care plan is to evaluate the needs of your loved one. Perhaps they have had a bad fall or illness, or another pressing concern is causing alarm and needs to be addressed. The first consideration is safety. Is your loved one safe to be driving or living on their own? Perhaps they are starting to require some assistance at home.
Our parents are typically aware they’re growing older and may already have concerns of their own about their living situation. They often have a plan in place that they can share with the family. It’s important for you and your family members to listen to what it is your parents want. And be sure to include your parents in the decision-making by offering choices and honoring their wishes as best as possible.
This will be the start of many conversations, and that’s okay. Emotions may run high and some progress is better than none at all.
Hold a Family Meeting
To be able to make a proper plan that involves your parents’ well-being, it’s best to get the entire family’s input. Everyone should be on the same page when making future plans that involve the family. This is a topic that’s easily pushed away for a later day, so be sure to plan a meeting day and time that’s convenient for everyone involved. This conversation could be very emotional, so it’s best to keep the topic discussion to the meeting day and not discuss it over a holiday dinner or celebration time. If someone is unable to physically be there, see if using video conferencing is an option using a free service like Skype or FaceTime.
Conversation topics should include your parents’ wants and needs as they age. If they find themselves unable to live on their own, where would they wish to live, and how do they intend to pay for it? Ask your parents if there are any changes that need to happen in their current situation and offer them your family’s help if at all possible.
Remember, emotions can be high with everyone involved. Consider family dynamics and how they can play a role in causing roadblocks in the conversation flow. Try to keep the conversation focused and positive. The main goal is to support your loved ones, and so that should be the main focus of the meeting.
Legal Documents and Medical Wishes
You want to make sure you’re legally prepared for any unforeseen circumstances or emergency situations. Knowing where to find documents, such as your parent’s will, life insurance policies, financial documents, and marriage certificates, can be vital during a stressful time. Keep these documents in a safe or safety deposit box.
If a will hasn’t been written yet, that’s a vital next step. Seek out an attorney to discuss their wishes and to write down how they’d like their estate managed when needed. Also be sure to include any funeral requests, as this can remove stressful decisions that must be made during a very emotional time.
Your parents should also create a living will, which advises specific guidelines on what medical treatments they would want and not want if the situation occurs, such as including resuscitation wishes and other potential procedures. This is a good time to discuss who will hold the power of attorney if a parent becomes unable to advocate for themselves.
Review the Senior Living Options
Though your parents may be very independent people, as they age, they may require more help around their home. Moving into a senior living community while still independent can help ease the transition and allow their new home to feel familiar as needs arise for further assistance. Senior planning in Phoenix may lead you to Solterra Senior Living, which allows for independent living as well as many assisted living options should the need arise. Contact us for more information.
Assisted living allows seniors to live independently in a private apartment while providing added assistance with meals, transportation, house cleaning and maintenance, and other self-care, such as showers, taking medications, and so forth.
If your parents prefer to stay in their own home, you can hire in-home care. This can be daily, weekly, or around-the-clock care. The care would be similar to assisted living, with help to prepare meals, getting dressed, and other activities of daily living. Be sure to do your research when hiring in-home care. Checking references is a must, and working with a reputable company to help with the hiring process is a good idea.
For more in-depth medical conditions, you may need to consider a nursing home. Nursing homes offer 24-hour care from licensed health professionals.
If you have a loved one suffering from dementia, you may consider memory care as an option. This allows for a safer, secure community with specialists who are trained in helping with the needs of someone suffering from cognitive decline.
Review the Finances
It’s a good idea to review your parents’ financial assets to determine if they’re able to afford their senior living plan. Reviewing things like any retirement savings they have, any pensions received, any income being earned, and current debt can help determine what can be afforded when planning ahead.
Taking the time to prepare now can make the future less stressful and can make transitions much smoother. You may want to use this senior planning checklist to help compile all of the information you may need when creating a senior living plan.