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Wealth management is more than just investment advice – it includes all aspects of a client’s financial life.

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At Virtus Wealth Management, we believe we can help you no matter what age you are, what life stage you are in, or how much money you are working with. We want you to feel educated, empowered, and involved in the planning of your financial future.

The Benefits of Being Proactive with Decisions On Aging

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  • The Benefits of Being Proactive with Decisions On Aging

by | May 20, 2024

Well, life continues to move along for me, my family, my friends, my mom, my husband’s parents, my friends’ parents, etc.  I wrote an article about the assisted living experience with my parents in 2020 and thought I would write a follow-up based on additional lessons learned now.  My dad passed away almost 4 years ago, and my mom continues to live in the same Assisted Living facility close to me.  It’s been an adjustment, but time heals, and we are both doing well.

I was a little early to this game, but as my friends’ parents and in-laws start to navigate the aging process, I would like to highlight some ideas to consider.

It is never too early to take proactive measures to educate yourself on services, resources, and professional assistance to help your family navigate longevity.  Yes, the conversation is hard, but being proactive can facilitate better health and better outcomes in a crisis.  Believe me, you do not want to be in a situation where you are forced to make quick, seemingly rash, knee-jerk decisions without having a knowledge base to draw from if you can avoid it.

It’s human nature to “cross that bridge when we get to it,” but that can be detrimental to the senior and the family unit in the way of not having needed services, falling short on resources, increasing caregiver stress, upsetting the family dynamic, and maxing out the family from a financial, emotional, and psychological perspective. Planning for a crisis (although details of which may be unpredictable) is important, as is doing an honest assessment of how well the current situation is, how sustainable it is, and how it would hold up in a crisis.

Ideas to explore include:

  • Ensuring legal documents are in place (Medical POA, Advance Directives, Financial POA) just in case you need them. This allows you to truly understand the wishes of your loved ones, in the event they are not able to communicate those desires at some point.
  • Understanding your loved one’s diagnosed medical conditions, medication management, and medical team. Access to their medical portal (if they have one) is a great start if they will allow it.
  • Organizing household items. As much as we would all like to “age in place”, that is usually not the reality of the situation.  Moving may be inevitable and just getting started organizing in advance could make all the difference.
  • Implementing a care plan that facilitates safety, wellness, function, and as much independence as possible and developing a plan to quickly address changes in care needs (like attending doctors’ appointments, driving, and medication management).
  • Researching care options along the continuum to know what is available in your area. These may include home care, adult day care, independent senior living, respite care, assisted living, dementia or memory care, and skilled nursing facility options. Knowing what to ask is critical. Visiting facilities and doing your research will help you understand the differences and allow you to know which ones you would go to….and which ones you would not.
  • Doing some financial planning to understand what bills are paid to who, how, and when and to develop a safety net to help pay for care options. Much to the surprise of many, more care options are paid privately than are paid by Medicare or other insurance.

These are just some ideas to get conversation started and to encourage you to proactively develop a knowledge base so that, ultimately, you can feel empowered to make sound, educated decisions for yourself and those that you love.

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