A recent article broke down the often daunting and ignored tasks that make for good planning decisions when you or a loved one ages – – well in advance of when one’s ability to make such decisions may be taken away by changing physical or mental health – or the involvement of a court, in some cases. The article breaks it down into three categories:
Decision to Stop Driving
One hopes that with the proliferation of readily accessible pay-services for transportation, the decision to step away from the responsibility of driving may be easier to make than ever. Naturally, rural locations do not have the luxury of a taxi, Lyft, or Uber, so asking for a ride from friends or family must be considered. Evaluating this decision early is a better option than waiting until someone is harmed.
Decision to Stay in Your Home
Along with the evaluation of financial restrictions and social aspects of one’s living arrangements, to make an educated decision as to whether aging in place where you currently live is viable, the National Association of Home Builders has a comprehensive checklist that walks you through many considerations for an appropriate living space. Again, looking through the list well in advance and considering options is much preferred over making hasty decisions under stressful circumstances.
Decision to Take Care of Yourself
The expense of in-home care versus a facility or retirement community is a substantial consideration. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has done a lot of research that will help you evaluate viable options, with a comprehensive website where you can enter your city and state, or zip code, for valuable information and assistance.
As with many important decisions in our lives, knowledge is power, so arm yourselves accordingly. Naturally, the legal documents to effectuate your ultimate decisions are also a necessary part of the planning process, so make sure your estate planning attorney knows your plan, to make sure everything is in place to meet your legal needs.
Victoria Blachly is a partner at SYK, and an experienced fiduciary litigator that works with many elderly clients, cases or causes, she is also a proud Board Member for the Oregon Alzheimer’s Association Chapter.