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Planning for Your Healthcare Future
This week marks National Healthcare Decisions Week, and we think now is a great time to share some thoughts and insights on planning for the future.  This blog outlines some recommendations for advance healthcare planning.

Thinking about and planning for aging and end of life can be difficult and an uncomfortable topic to think about and discuss.  However, it is important to make sure you consider your wishes and communicate those wishes with your loved ones.  When planning, some important things to consider are:
  • What kind of medical treatment and intervention do I want?
  • Who do I want to take care of me – do I have a preference whether it’s at-home, or in a facility? Do I prefer male or female caregivers?
  • If I’m unable to make my own decisions, who do I want to assign to make those decisions on my behalf? Have I communicated my wishes with them?
  • Do my loved ones know where to find important documents and information needed to make decisions on my behalf?

Many families today have adult children who live out of town or out of state or are working full-time and caring for a family. Sometimes an important factor to consider is having someone available to help overseeing a care plan.  Care Advocates are a great resource for families in this scenario.  Our care advocates can help with things like:
  • Advocacy with health and service providers
  • Re-assessment and monitoring for changing needs
  • Resource for transitions to independent/assisted living/nursing homes
  • Coordination of services to assist in maintaining goals
  • Resource and connection to support services such as Elder Law Attorneys, Veteran’s Administration and Community Resources
  • Guidance and referrals to preserve financial resources
  • Home safety inspection/equipment needs
  • Medical appointment scheduling and accompaniment
 
In addition to thinking about and communicating your wishes, it’s important to have the proper documents in place as well.  Some important documents to make sure you have prepared are:
  • A living will: this is a written statement detailing a person’s desires for medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to make their own decisions.
  • Healthcare proxy: this document names someone to make decisions about your medical care any time you are unable to make your own medical decisions, not only at the end of life. One of the strongest reasons for naming a spokesperson is to have someone who can respond flexibly to changes in your medical situation.
  • Power of Attorney: A power of attorney gives your spokesperson the ability to manage financial affairs, pay bills, sell property, and so on, on your behalf.
While it’s important to think about aging and planning for the future, it’s also important to think about death and dying as well.  Some things to consider are:
  • What kind of funeral services do I want? Do I prefer a burial, cremation or to donate my body to science?
  • Where do I want to be buried? Do I have a burial plot?
  • Have I set aside money for the funeral?
  • Do I want to have calling hours? Do I want an open or closed casket?
  • If you/your loved ones have served, do you want a Military Funeral Honors?
These are just a few of the things to consider when making decisions about your healthcare and advanced planning.  We have many resources in our community we’d be happy to put you in touch with to assist with your planning needs – give us a call today.
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