When it comes to planning for the final years of life, it can be easy to let emotion take over. The planning process could be much calmer and more enjoyable if it is well-thought-out, according to the staff at Dignity Memorial® – a funeral and event planning organization – and Home Instead.
Some may find that incorporating a few of the following suggestions could lead to a more peaceful and organized planning process:
- Talk it out. Communicate with loved ones. What type of care do you prefer and what legacy do you want your life to reflect? A lot of times people – particularly adult children – don't want to talk, but these are conversations that need to be had, noted Dignity Memorial. This is a time for everyone to come together and share.
- Identify people who can help plan. Developing key relationships early on with individuals, companies and organizations will help provide peace of mind in knowing that all the bases are covered. Some key relationships to consider developing may be with attorneys, financial planners, insurance agents, home care companies and funeral homes.
- Consider personality and preferences. For many, aging at home is the ultimate goal. However, a social person who ends up living alone in a large, empty house could become unhappy. There are a number of options for home care support. Contact your local Home Instead office for information about the type of services that can help maintain quality of life and keep individuals at home for as long as possible.
- Decide how to handle finances. Putting finances in order is a way to quell two underlying fears that most people have, according to experts from the Conversation Project. People often fear being a burden to their loved ones, either financially or from a health and independence perspective. Talk with a financial planner about the type of care you would like. Pre-paying funeral services can help keep the focus on celebrating a life. Another benefit of pre-planning is locking in today’s prices.
- Complete a personal planning guide. Resources exist that may help individuals ensure they have the tools in place to plan important details of their final years. Dignity Memorial's Personal Planning Guide includes a place to enter important family information, service and memorialization preferences, organizations and people to contact, financial information and final arrangements. Also check out the resources at 4070talk.com including An Action Plan for Successful Aging.
- Think about a bucket list and the individuals with whom you'd like to share those dreams. It's easy to get caught up in the practical aspects of planning, but don't forget about the fun! Adding a few "bucket list" goals into a final plan will help ensure you achieve those things in life that matter most. Whether it's riding in a hot air balloon or working in (or buying) the local coffee shop, don't put off those dreams that you want to fulfill while you still can. It's never too late, though, to realize a bucket list dream.
Take the first step and get started today. Planning will benefit all family members and make for a more beautiful ending.