Encouraging Early Conversations About End-of-Life Care
Aging With a Plan Reduces Stress for Seniors and Their Loved Ones
Many seniors and their families find it difficult to have a conversation regarding end-of-life care and aging preferences. Sometimes the hardest step is simply beginning the conversation. For this reason, we recommend that seniors and their families have early conversations about aging preferences and end-of-life care, long before a medical emergency prompts the discussion. The goal of the conversation is for the senior to live safely and happily for as long as possible.
For many, the most difficult topic to discuss, particularly between parents and their children, is whether the senior wishes to continue living at home. It is understandable that the thought of leaving, and potentially selling, a beloved home can be a very sensitive subject.
According to the AARP’s study on retirees in 2018, 77% of surveyed seniors wanted to remain in their community for as long as possible, and nearly the same number wanted to stay in their home. However, only half of those seniors felt it would be possible to remain at home in their community throughout retirement.
Many seniors have a desire to age in place, but they have doubts and anxieties about whether that is a realistic option for them. The first step, of course, is for seniors to share these wishes and feelings with their families so that everyone can be on the same page about their plan for aging, as well as their end-of-life care preferences. This provides a starting point for discussions about whether aging in place is a viable option and also allows families time to research alternative options.
Some seniors are eligible for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which are designed to allow seniors to age in place within their current communities. For many seniors, this option affords them the chance to stay in their home while also receiving medical support, socialization opportunities, and other benefits. PACE can be an alternative to more costly senior living options, reducing the financial burden and anxieties of seniors and their families.
If you or your loved one is a resident of Cuyahoga County, take the first step in determining eligibility for PACE, then reach out to a member of our team. We are excited to share how PACE can become part of your aging plan.