How can you prepare for the aging of you parents and or loved ones?
The creation of stepping stones helps everyone understand what is important to our loved ones and the family and friends around them. Aging is a fact of life so preparation for this is firstly to look at alternative housing arrangements going forward rather than to bury ones head in the sand. Thinking about and putting in place a plan to reduce the care needed for a home or the downsizing is a start. Sometimes we have assisted families to buy out a family home which can provided a ‘timing’ and transitional stepping stone.
Higher care facilities can offer a waiting list which is available at a number of aged care facilities. This may involve a small deposit of about $1,000 but once an individual has visited and selected a desired facility then the deposit and wait should be considered. This process helps to mentally prepare the individual and family members and creates another stepping stone to these important decisions. The most frequent comments we get from clients when we bring up this subject is “they can take me out in a box”, and our response to that is “well it is most likely that they would take you out on an ambulance stretcher and take you to wherever there is space”. This is clearly not the most desirable situation and it would be best if clients could be sent to a facility close to home, family and friends. In the case of couples, especially if one partner does not drive, it would make it very difficult to visit and see each other regularly. So when one partner becomes unwell it is important for the couple to review their accommodation options. Some facilities allow independent living situations for one partner and nursing care for the other, this is the ideal situation so that the partners can visit each other and only be a short walk apart.