Aging Options

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To Make the Right Elder Care Choices, Start with These Important Steps

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It seems that every day we learn of some new living option for retirees. And as the Boomer generation ages, we predict those choices in retirement living choices will proliferate even more.

But maybe you’re facing a housing choice now, for an older parent or aging loved one. We found this helpful article at the website that includes a simple checklist to help you assess your loved one’s care needs, a critical step toward making an informed and appropriate housing decision. (Read the article here.) Here a few of the questions you’ll want to answer as you look for the most suitable housing choice for the senior you love.

The obvious place to start: what is the true status of your loved one’s health? As the article points out, if a doctor tells you “It’s just aging,” find another doctor and demand a complete health assessment. (The fact that many doctors don’t fully understand the health dynamics of aging is one reason we strongly suggest seniors consult a geriatric care specialist as a key member of their medical care team.)

Another important question to ask: what are your loved one’s needs at night? This is a vital question because, if your senior loved one can’t sleep or needs special help at night, you’ll probably need to pay for an hourly caregiver who will be awake and available at all hours – a significant cost. This need for nighttime care can powerfully affect a senior’s housing choices.

A third question is, “Who is on your loved one’s Care Team?” As the article suggests, you should determine who the significant people are in your loved one’s life – those who can act as caregivers, occasional helpers, and visitors. These people are usually family members, but not always. Identifying these people is important because, as the article states, “It’s vital as we age to have people in our lives who we trust, are trustworthy, we like and who like us.” Proximity to this Care Team affects your loved one’s housing choices.

There are more questions and suggestions in this helpful article. Guiding others through their senior housing choices can help you learn what options and considerations you may be facing a decade or two from now. As we always remind our clients, in order to avoid being forced into institutional care against your will in the future, you should be making important Life Plans today. To help you do this, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming Life Planning seminars at a location and time convenient for you. Find the upcoming dates by clicking on the Upcoming Events tab on this website.

(Originally reported at

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