In my line of work as a private geriatric case manager, there are few days that go by where I’m not reminded of the consequences of “not having one’s affairs in order.” In my last column, I spoke first-hand about my family’s personal experience with having to make difficult end-of-life decisions when my Dad was unable to speak for himself after a stroke left him on life support.
I won’t go into why most Canadians don’t invest in future care planning. Rather, I’ll encourage you to ask yourself two questions: “What is preventing me from planning ahead?” and “What is preventing me from gathering important documentation and putting it in one place?”
Personally, I can tell you from my vantage point, it’s a low priority for me at 41 years of age. A little reflection can help identify any barriers and often, we can find something to motivate us to overcome inertia. For me, I think about my daughter and husband and how I’d like to avoid any uncertainty or undue stress for them both.
Before you run off and start looking for any important documents in those dusty filing cabinets, (or in my case, the stack of papers waiting to be filed), take a step back and take stock of where you are at in your future care planning.
Ask yourself the following questions:
If you are an older person or it you are an adult child with aging parents, consider the following:
Watch for the Signs
Caregiver Consultations: How We Help Frail Elderly Parents
Long Distance Caregiving
– Mike G., Nanaimo, BC
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