Understanding an Aging Plan
Around The Baptist Home we say there are two approaches to aging, “incident aging” and “planned aging”.
Most people follow the “incident aging” approach. They just allow the days and years to go by without much thought about their life journey. Then an “incident’ forces them to face the fact they are getting older. The “incident” requires them to make quick, and often poor decisions about their future.
The incident may be broken hip resulting in one having to find a rehab center or home health care quickly. Or the incident may be a sudden drop in the stock market causing one to “panic sell” investments thus greatly damaging future retirement assets. Although it is the most poplar the “incident approach” to aging is not the best.
The “planned aging” approach is an intentional, comprehensive, realistic, and well thought out process of putting in place plans to address the major decisions we may have to make as we get older. This process leads one to develop an “Aging Plan” that lays out our preferred decisions and actions to maximize independence and control of our life.
Developing an Aging Plan takes time and dedication to the task. The ideal age to begin is in your early 50’s but no matter what your age it is never too late to start. The major point is to develop your Aging Plan when you are not in a crisis and you have time to do the research to clearly understand your options for each potential situation.
An Aging Plan gives us the confidence we are in control and are making the best decisions as we continue on life’s journey. It gives us a sense of acceptance, joy and positive feelings about the life course we are taking. In other words an Aging Plan helps us to have few or no regrets about our decisions in the last half of life.
Residents at The Baptist Home complete an Aging Plan prior to admittance. This plan addresses your changing needs throughout the aging process and can be as simple or as detailed as you feel necessary. Most importantly, an Aging Plan will ensure your wishes are made known and your loved ones are emotionally and relationally protected.
For Baptist Home purposes the Aging Plan must define responsible partners and contact persons in case the resident becomes incapacitated. An aging plan is a more comprehensive version of an estate plan.
COMMON COMPONENTS OF AN AGING PLAN:
- – An estate plan
- – Long-term care insurance
- – Choosing a long-term care provider
- – Remodeling or purchasing a home that is age friendly
- – Informing adult children and responsible parties about legal and financial matters
- – Funeral & burial plans
- – A wellness strategy to improve fitness and health
- – Advance health care directives
- – Durable Power of Attorney
- – Minimizing risk as one ages to promote the longest healthiest life possible
- – Financial planning (The Baptist Home strives to provide quality health care at an affordable price. While The Baptist Home is not a Medicare or Medicaid provider, our staff will work with the resident and family to find available resources to help cover the cost of care.)
- – Development of meaningful hobbies
- – Career and work plans as one ages