In this video we share the importance of communicating your
plan with your kids so they don’t panic and want to put you in a home.
In today’s world, we face certain realities that our predecessors never had to grapple with. These realities have a direct impact on our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Let’s explore three key challenges that have emerged over the past generation.
First and foremost, we are experiencing longer lifespans. Thanks to advancements in medical science and various other factors, people are now celebrating milestone birthdays well beyond what was once considered the norm. Turning 75, 80, 90, or even reaching the centenary mark has become increasingly common.
However, the homes we reside in were not originally designed to support us as we age. This poses a significant obstacle for most of us. Our living spaces may lack the necessary features and accommodations needed to navigate old age comfortably and safely.
Moreover, families today are confronted with unprecedented levels of busyness, stress, and disconnection. The consequence of this modern lifestyle is a decrease in communication. When communication falters, uncertainty creeps in, paving the way for anxiety to take hold. Unchecked anxiety eventually leads to panic.
It may come as a surprise to discover that if you have children in their 40s, 50s, or older, they are likely engaging in conversations with their friends about which retirement community they should consider for you when the time comes. In fact, they might spend more time discussing your well-being and challenges than their own children, jobs, or hobbies.
Let’s delve into the top three concerns your children may have, so you can better understand their worries:Health crises or falls:
1. Health crises or falls:
If you find yourself in a situation where you can no longer manage on your own, your children may be anxious about finding the time and resources to provide the necessary assistance. This concern is especially pertinent if they reside far away.
2. Managing your home and affairs:
Juggling the responsibilities of one household can be demanding enough for most people today. Now imagine your children contemplating the added burden of managing two households simultaneously.
3. Dealing with your belongings:
The sheer volume of possessions you have amassed over the years can be overwhelming for your children. Many people I speak to express concerns about how they will handle your belongings if something were to happen to you.
What should I do?
So, you may be asking, “How can I alleviate some or all of these worries and prevent my kids from prematurely exploring retirement community options on by behalf?” The answer lies in creating a plan. By being realistic and considering various “what-if” scenarios, you can offer your children peace of mind. Here are three crucial elements to include in your plan:
- Determine your living arrangements: Are you intending to stay in your current home, or do you envision downsizing to a smaller place? Have you considered the possibility of residing in a retirement community at some point? It is vital to establish a specific plan regarding when and how any potential changes may occur.
- Plan for aging in place: If your preference is to remain in your current home, it is essential to think about the modifications and adaptations necessary to accommodate your needs as you age. Will you require home renovations? Installation of grab bars? Widening of doorways? Building a ramp? Make sure to identify reliable professionals who can assist you with these tasks (like us!).
- Update your estate planning documents: Engage the services of an attorney to complete or update your powers of attorney, living will, and other critical documents that will ensure your wishes are honored. Communicate your plan with the individuals who will play a role in executing it, whether now or in the future.
When your children are aware that you have thought through these considerations and have a comprehensive plan in place, they will feel more assured and less inclined to embark on independent planning without your involvement. It is important to note that while your children may not fully agree with your plan, having one is paramount.
You certainly don’t need their seal of approval, but having a well-crafted plan demonstrates your preparedness.
Simply acknowledging the inevitable aging process and the potential need for support, coupled with pre-planning and instructions for your children regarding how that support should be provided, can work wonders in alleviating anxiety and fostering peace of mind—for both you and your children.
Is it really their business?
You might be of the opinion that your living situation and lifestyle choices are none of your children’s concern. However, the reality is that all of us, as we age, will require some form of support. While you may not require it at present, now is the time to contemplate your needs five, ten, or even fifteen years down the road.
At Seniors Living Smarter we are dedicated to empowering mature adults and long-time homeowners to make informed decisions and maintain control over their lives, regardless of their age or circumstances. Give us a call at 512-818-0988 if you would like some help crafting and communicating your plan or if you need referrals to other trusted experts!