“I was worried that something would happen to me and nobody would know – except Fluff- my cat”, said 79-year-old Phyllis. Even though Phyllis enjoys her freedom and independence of living in her own home and in a familiar environment, she has many unspoken fears just like many seniors who opt to age in place.
Prince Market Research shows that about 53% of seniors have the fear of losing their independence. Other fears include fear of memory problems, inability to drive, fear of losing family and friends and fear about what would happen to their pets if something happened to them. The fear of death was the least of their fears.
Could “seniors fearing moving into nursing home and losing their independence more than death” contribute to the problem of not being prepared when it comes time to deal with estate planning, will and last wishes?
Judy was a 79-year-old grandma who led a very active lifestyle. She goes to yoga classes at least twice a week, volunteers in her grandkid’s school, joins her church’s choir and lives in her own home a few miles from her two daughters. She loves going to the local library with her grandkids picking up books followed by a leisurely walk in the local park every week.
But life changed in an instant when she suffered a massive heart attack. The heart attack left her with mobility problems, slurred speech and memory loss. With patience and consistency, her daughters were able to work through and communicate with her about her immediate health care needs. Estate planning, legal and financial matters are still being discussed.
In Judy’s case, it is easier because her daughters live close to her and they already established a strong mother daughter relationship. The daughters were able to spend countless hours helping mom with her needs and taking care of all the details that involved in hospital bills, power of attorney and other health care and estate planning issues. They always honored her last wishes and desires just in case something worse happens- like death.
Not all seniors have this luxury of living close and enjoying a great relationship with their sons and daughters.
What if something happens to Mom or Grandma today and you are not there for her? What are the best ways for siblings to get together to help grandma out?
Where do you begin? A lot depends on where you live and the laws of that state.
The best gift we can give our family members is to begin with the end in mind. The late Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person coined the phrase “begin with the end in mind”- Mr. Covey himself died suddenly from a bicycle accident when he was just 79 years old.
He said “begin with the end in mind” means to begin each day, task or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.
What are grandma’s last wishes? How do you ensure her last wishes are carried out?
Having last wishes in writing is important because we never know what would happen when it comes time to execute the last wishes. Most people refuse to talk about such things when grandma is still healthy.
As unpleasant as it seems, it is necessary to have the death, last wishes and estate planning conversation so grandma, you and your family can have the peace of mind when it is done. This straightforward discussion can give everyone peace of mind and reduce the crisis reactions. There is enough drama already.
Grandma can still enjoy her freedom and living in the comfort of her own home. To ensure Phyllis is safe and checked on daily, her family enrolled her in Keeping In Touch Solutions’ New Freedom Program. All she has to do is call her “special KITS number” everyday just to let us know she is ok. (she picks the time for calling in)
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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