Since 2017 is just around the corner, I thought it would make sense if our senior readers and their adult children took a short "pop quiz" in order to get all involved thinking about their own personal situation and any health issues they might have to address.
The purpose of this exercise is to reflect, assess, acknowledge and consider what direction to take when it involves the challenges of aging.
- From a "housing" perspective, based on your desires and needs, what's the best option to pursue and why?
(a) Stay in your current home and age in place
(b) Move to a senior retirement community
(c) Live with one of your children
(Note: It's very possible to experience all three living options in one lifetime.)
- If you are planning to move to a retirement community, have you started the "downsizing" process by emptying the attic and de-cluttering the garage of all the stuff that should have been donated or disposed of long ago?
(c) No, and still have a storage unit full of stuff
(Note: Do yourself a favor and start downsizing now. It's some of the best advice I can offer.)
- Have you spoken to your children about your health concerns moving forward and thoughts of how you intend to proceed?
- If you have addressed this issue with your family, what was their reaction to the direction you plan to take?
(c) Recommend more research, etc.
(Note: It's critical to include your children and solicit their help and feedback.)
- Do you truly know the difference between "independent living," "assisted living," "aging-at-home," and "long-term care" or "skilled nursing?"
(c) Not sure
(Note: It's not uncommon for seniors, and more often their children, to not completely understand the differences and who is best suited for what type of senior living scenario.)
- What is your current financial position, i.e. what is your annual income (Social Security and money from pensions, dividends, interest, etc.) and overall liquid assets (stocks, bonds, CDs, annuities, etc.)?
(Note: Finances will always play a significant role in what senior retirement options someone can consider.)
The start of a New Year tends to initiate new thoughts about how we can best provide for ourselves and for our loved ones. Aging presents its own challenges, which require proactive thoughts and action.
This year, do your homework, ask questions and see which option is best for you.
Joe Agee is the marketing and sales director for The Seabrook of Hilton Head. www.TheSeabrook.com