1. Consider having an Enduring Power of Attorney for your financial affairs. If you don’t have family or friends, or you prefer not to have them involved, you can also choose a bank or trust company as trustee or Public Guardian and Trustee. Research and be aware of the implications and costs involved in these services. Also be aware of what can happen if you don’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney.
2. Plan to have a representation agreement for your social and medical affairs. Learn what can happen if you don’t have one.
3. Research the types of care homes available. Know what to expect, depending on your level of independence and your financial situation. Is living at home a viable option? Plan where you would like to live if you should need light assistance or need long term care.
4. Get to know the volunteer services available in your community.
5. Review and simplify your financial affairs.
6. Review and update your will.
7. Prepay funeral arrangements.
8. Make a list of important names and numbers of your professional advisors and doctors; your chronic illnesses, allergies and medications keep this in an accessible place.
9. Communicate with your loved ones. Let your children know what your plans are. If there are complications, seek advice. If the children don’t want to talk about it, keep a binder with the information. They will appreciate it later on and it will relieve the stress and pressure of knowing if they have all the information. If your parents don’t want to talk about it, be gentle, encourage them to make plans while they still can even it they don’t need to put them in motion. You may need to seek outside help from someone unbiased. This is the time of life when quality visits are much more appreciated than stressed-out visits used for problem solving.
10. Consult a professional such as BJK Seniors’ Advocate and Consultant to help you.