Everyone talks about planning for the future.
Financial advisors, Funeral Home Directors, Health and Life Insurance companies are in the business of helping you plan for your future. Older Americans are deluged with mailings and invitations to pre-plan everything.
Physicians will predict your future health status based on your current physical indicators. If your A1C keeps going up, you’re headed towards diabetes. They are always planning to improve both the quality and quantity of your life.
For most people, the hope is to tie up all the possible contingencies and create the most secure future possible. It’s called playing defense.
What are the predictors for an individual?
Actuary tables can predict for the masses, but there is no such thing as a certainty for an individual, so we educate ourselves about the odds and act according to our own situation.
Each individual is unique. Questions like:
- Are you living alone?
- Do you have supportive family close by?
- What is your health status and what is the normal progression of your health issues?
- Can you maintain your current home?
- Can you cook or obtain nutritious food?
- Are you able to continue to drive or when do you intend to quit?
- Do you know where you would go if you could no longer live at home?
Statistics paint an important picture.
Caregiver.org reports that today approximately 63% of persons aged 65 and older (6.3 million) are currently receiving care. The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older. The odds are high that all of us may need additional support, the question becomes how will you manage that and what choices will you make?
What are the basic activities that an individual needs to be able to perform to stay completely independent?
The Activities of Daily Living are a series of basic activities performed by individuals on a daily basis necessary for independent living at home. There are many variations on the definition of the activities of daily living, but most organizations agree there are 5 basic categories.
- Personal hygiene – bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care.
- Dressing – the ability to make appropriate clothing decisions and physically dress/undress oneself.
- Eating – the ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare food.
- Maintaining continence – both the mental and physical capacity to use a restroom, including the ability to get on and off the toilet and cleaning oneself.
- Transferring/Mobility- moving oneself from seated to standing, getting in and out of bed, and the ability to walk independently from one location to another.
Even the loss of one of these activities may make it impossible or dangerous to live at home alone.
What if part of your future planning included the choice of moving to Assisted Living in Kansas City?
So much future planning for seniors is based on avoidance. Everyone is hedging their bets to dodge some kind of calamity. As they say in sports, we start playing not to lose, instead of playing to win!
When older adults engage in proactive planning they may include the possibility of leaving their current home and moving to an assisted living community. All of the activities of daily living an be supported with the additional benefits of socialization, activities, exercise opportunities, housekeeping, prepared meals, and laundry, etc.
This type of future planning is proactive or living on the offense.
Preparing for the future is dramatically different than preparing for a future, what a difference a little word makes! With years of experience working with the Senior population, I see it over and over.
Many Seniors quit preparing for the next chapter of life. They just stop thinking that there is a future and consequently they are on automatic pilot.
All of our lives we plan for a future. We plan to go to school, to go to work, to get married, to have children and grandchildren.
We plan to retire and so often the planning stops. We slide into this phase of maintenance and hedging our bets against calamity without really thinking about it.
Maybe it is because we live in denial about what our needs may be in the future or we just don’t want to think about it. In addition, many elders have very negative images of ‘nursing homes’ of the past and will have no part in discussing that option.
Today’s Assisted Living and Care Communities in Kansas City are a complete change from that old institutional and medical model.
As a part of a healthy planning session for moving forward in later years, there should be more than financial and burial plans. Those strategies should include planning for the possibility of moving to an Assisted Living community. Going for a tour and learning about all options is important.
Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Continuing to plan a future, to grow and playing to win are critical issues that we all face. Planning to be its best should include all options!
We invite you to come and see what the difference is at The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support! Schedule a tour today.