Thinking Ahead for Seniors: Checklists and Guides

adviceThe holidays are now in full swing and all of us, including seniors and their loved ones, are busy. It may seem like the wrong time to think about matters like healthcare, planning for retirement or the transition to senior life. In fact, the holidays may provide some rare opportunities for families to discuss the future and at least outline the actions they need to take soon or at a later date. This may be the only time of the year when family members are all present in the same physical location.
Most people do not want to use the holidays to talk in detail about senior home care or finding senior assisted living. However, when your parents or your children are near, there may be time to at least discuss future planning. As a start, here are some suggestions for written records, checklists that seniors and their loved ones should keep:

  • Senior health care. Do you have a ‘living will’ (health directive), a written list of physicians, a list of the medications you take and any drug allergies you may have? Do your family members know where to find these things?
  • Medical insurance and prescription plan information. Where are your insurance policies, identification cards and identification numbers? Do your family members know where to find them?
  • People to notify in an emergency situation – for example children, grandchildren, other relatives, close friends or neighbors. What are their names, addresses, contact information?
  • Local clergy information. Is a preferred religious affiliation, a minister, rabbi or priest you or your loved one would want to notify?
  • Financial records and information. A list of account numbers, account locations, names, passwords and contact information for banking and other financial organizations.
  • E-information. What about your email accounts? Important communication from banks, insurance companies, utilities companies and other organizations may be handled by e-mail. Does your spouse or another relative know how to access this information if needed?

Obviously, this is only a start, but this information should be gathered together in a place where at least one responsible person can find it quickly. How this is done may depend on your abilities and resources. If you or a family member is computer knowledgeable, placing this information on a computer hard drive with backups on external drives might be the best way. This information might also be stored in the ‘cloud’ where it can be accessed quickly from any location. If you are still not comfortable with computers, these records should still be kept on paper where a trusted person can locate them.
Planning and thinking ahead is a good idea for anyone, but it may be especially so for seniors. So think about that information above and make sure it is available to someone you trust. In future articles, we will take up thinking ahead for topics like finding a Florida attorney, a senior real estate specialist, a Florida CPA or financial advice for seniors.
Planning ahead is an important part in any successful transition to senior life and OurSeniors.NET exists to serve the needs of seniors in every way. If you or a loved one is beginning to think about active senior communities or retirement communities in Florida, 55+ communities in Florida or even in home senior care, OurSeniors.NET can help. You can contact an OurSeniors.NET Advisor by phone at 866-333-2657 (Se Habla Español), or by using the link- Contact Us. Check out our website at Ourseniors.NET and take an online look at our senior living magazine, OurSeniors.NET Magazine.

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