The Planning Process

Now that the idea of a conversation about planning is taking shape, it is time to gather information. And what a confusing collection of words, titles, descriptions, financial options, clinical choices and challenges appear in the in-box for every inquiry made!

To start at the beginning, to sort this wall of words into every day language, while there is the time and interest to do it, before a crisis occurs, is the most valuable step in the planning process.

Let’s be clear; more aging people, every day, remain fully independent, physically and mentally well, enjoying life and adapting to new experiences with the same enthusiasm as ever.

For the small percentage who will require assistance or modification of life style in order to remain physically safe, emotionally sound and participating as fully as they wish in the years ahead, a strong plan will allay many of the fears associated with aging and will also provide families with surety that their parent’s confidence and independence is protected.

Where to begin? The framework for a strong plan really depends on the completeness of the personal profile emerging as we gather and date information in many areas of a person’s life. Here are eight :

Mobility and Accessibility
General Health
Specific Health Issues
Social Needs

Spiritual Support

Cultural Interest

The more these subjects can be rounded out with past and current content, the simpler and more satisfying later decision-making will become. When options are presented, both the affected person and all of their helpers will have a set of values and conditions by which to weigh, assess and choose from options available.

For most of us, the biggest asset, comfort, responsibility and influence on our every-day life is where and how we live. We sometimes hear people say, “They’ll have to carry me out of here; I’m never giving up my house.” Family members may panic on hearing this and despair. The key is to try not to panic, but to analyze.