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Health & Wellness > And More Health & Wellness > HW 21

Know Your Options Before You Need Them!

By: JoAnn Thibault

Why do [we] as a society, plan ahead and research; vacation plans, health insurance policies, and big furniture purchases, but refuse to research elder care options?

Because we don’t see ourselves as ever needing these services, that’s why.   Can we change this mindset?  It is imperative that we do!   

Understandably, we view ourselves as younger than we are, and the last thing we want to think about is needing some assistive services as we age. Independence is imbedded in most of us and we don’t want to lose control over that.

The reality is, we will lose our independence and control if we do NOT research and understand the options available to us as we age. If we decide to ignore, and wait until a crisis situation, our decision making is limited to those immediately around us, sometimes without the luxury of second opinions, and time for choice. 

Ultimately, this could lead to wrong choices, inaccurate information, and possibly the person(s) involved may be taken advantage of because of their immediate need.

There are so many options available for independent living as we age.  We need to know and learn about them before we need them, so we can make smart choices when the time comes.

Aside from State and Federal services available; Choices range from:

  • Rehabilitation services after an illness or accident; learn about your local Rehab centers, drop by for an unannounced tour.

  • Home care services; beyond Medicare/Medicaid services are private pay services; learn what is available from minimal services up to and including 24/7 care if needed. Also learn about Hospice in your area.

  • Alternative Housing choices; research the Independent and Assisted Living communities as well as Rest Homes, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Again, stop in for some tours.

  • Concierge/Specialty services; including downsizing, organizing, moving specialists, and more; know what is available in and around your community.

  • Financial Services; financial planning, long-term care insurance and planning, life settlements, estate planning and reverse mortgages.

  • Home Modifications; available to assist is safe-at-home aging in place.

  • Home Tech Companies; know what is the latest in technology.

  • Geriatric Case Mangers; specializing in helping you in all aspects of independent aging solutions, and to help coordinate all of the above.

Please start your research before you need these services. In times of crisis, being well prepared, no matter what the crisis may be, will benefit you and your family!