Despite concerns about finances and health, most people look forward to retirement. The idea is that people will have more time for personal interests since they no longer have to work or care for small children.
Of course, things aren’t always ideal. A serious illness, dementia, or even death can mean that retirement won’t be so golden. While many health issues can’t be prevented, they can be planned for, especially since a stroke, complications from diabetes or osteoporosis can lead to long-term care situations, such as assisted living or nursing home placement.
How do you plan for a future that may include chronic health issues when you aren’t sure what the future may hold for you? These things can help:
When most people plan for their senior years, they mostly think about a will that specifies how their assets will be distributed upon their death.
But there are other things to think about as well, such as what will happen if you have a stroke, develop a serious illness or become incapacitated?
What should you or your loved ones have in place in those circumstances?
It is extremely important to consider and plan for serious illness, not just death. While we are living longer, that doesn’t always mean we are living healthier. Stroke, complications from diabetes or osteoporosis can lead to nursing home placement. A legal plan must be established with the help of an elder law attorney when a person is healthy so that a difficult situation doesn’t become more difficult when illness or incapacitation occur.
Here are some suggestions for how you can plan ahead for serious illness:
If your parent loses a mate, spouse or life partner, he or she may need a good deal of emotional and practical support. If you are close to your parent’s mate you may need support too. Family members, friends, neighbors and even grief groups are all good places to turn to for comfort during this time. Here are some tasks and decisions you may need to help your parent face.
Dealing with Property In some circumstances, your parent will have to act as executor in dealing with their mate’s estate and there may be a lot to do. You may need to help with such things as sorting through their records for a will or collecting insurance and other benefits. Take it one step at time and know that there are always resources to help you and your parent out. Continue Reading How to Help When Your Parents Lose a Life Partner →
We’ve written previously about important healthcare documents everyone needs to have on file. The most important of these are your will, and in addition certain advance directives for your medical care. The need for these written directives often does not seem important when health is good. However, as health declines, it is smart to be prepared and to share your medical healthcare preferences in the event of a serious accident, hospitalization or continuing palliative care.
Today’s advanced and widespread use of medical technology has created the need for these advance directives. You may have seen a few of the numerous studies performed documenting deficits in medical care of the dying. Aggressive medical intervention leaves millions of Americans confined to nursing homes and over a million are left so medically weak that they survive only with feeding tubes. Your own circle of friends and relatives probably includes several families overcome with the financial burden of considerable medical costs. At least one “national study* shows some family members had to leave work, 31% lost “most of their savings” and 20% reported loss of their major source of income while handling these medical situations. Over the years as more Americans experienced the burdens and diminishing benefits of invasive and aggressive medical treatment in poor prognosis states either themselves or with a loved one, pressure began to mount to devise ways to avoid the suffering and costs associated with treatments the patient did not want. The first formal response was the living will.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great tool for helping you post updates, photos, even video, so that you can keep up with friends and family. But what happens to your social media accounts when you die and you are the only one who knows the password(s)?
Most people have a plan for what to do with physical items and assets after death, but what about online accounts like social media sites and emails? What happens to them when you die? No one knows how long our online presence will last, and it is possible for someone to hijack your identity after your death based upon information they obtain online. Therefore, if you want to prevent online identity theft and have your online legacy reflect your wishes, you need to have a plan in place.