Celebrating 19 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine

- Aging Well -

Managing Change in Our Lives

story by Jennifer Prell

Choose to act when dealing with the changes in your life. By choosing to take action, change is manageable, and we
enable ourselves to work through tough times. We empower ourselves to make choices that affect our health and our well-being. When given the advice, “Just take things one step at a time,” it may be helpful to think of this literally and take appropriate steps in the healthiest direction.

Investing wisely in yourself includes health and financial considerations. We plan for babies, college, weddings, and retirement, but we seem to forget that planning never stops. It’s important to know what to plan for in each stage of your life. Here are some things to consider.

Power of Attorney

Putting a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) for Healthcare and Property in place at the age of 18 or greater allows those who love you to have the ability to help you. The POA only goes into effect when you are incapacitated during an illness, accident, or when you don’t have the ability to respond to your own health needs. It also allows the POA for Property to pay your bills on your behalf.

Living Wills

Discuss your Living Will and preferences with your POA for Healthcare. A Living Will states your wishes to have care withheld or withdrawn in specific situations, such as a terminal condition. The POA should honor your specific wishes in your Living Will and in the event that you are physically or mentally unable to tell your doctor yourself. Make sure this is someone you trust to make these decisions on your behalf. The person should probably be the most logical and emotionally strong one in your family, a close friend, or a Trustee you hire to honor your goals.

Family Health History

Personal planning requires an introspective approach and planning for future needs. If your family has a history or Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, heart disease or stroke, you will want to prepare for your care as you age. If there’s longevity in your family, you may want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance or a hybrid life insurance policy that can convert to a long-term care policy to help offset future costs of care.

Financial Planning

Hopefully you have started saving for your
retirement needs. Money is important to age well. It doesn’t matter if you want to stay in your current home for the rest of your life or move into a senior living community. Money offers you choice. The choice of where to live, the choice of quality care and even the choice to spend it on restaurants, trips, and the grandkids! Avoid the situation where you don’t have choice.

Seek Professional Help

For your legal matters, hire a qualified attorney to represent your interests and to help you understand your choices. For financial matters, seek out a Certified Financial Planner.

Jennifer Prell is an expert in senior living and care options. She has been helping the aging population for over 16 years and is the founder and president at Elderwerks. She loves helping people and feels that everyone deserves respect and dignity. Educating people on aging topics and producing the Elderwerks Senior Resource Directory are two of Jennifer’s favorite projects. Jennifer is also the owner of Paxem, Inc. an A+ Accredited Senior Move Management company offering moving assistance, organizing, estate liquidations, and more. Elderwerks Educational Services is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Palatine that offers complimentary information, referrals, and guidance to older adults, seniors and families for senior living, care, support and benefits. They act as “senior guidance counselors” helping individuals or couples figure out how to stay home well or transition successfully. Visit Elderwerks.org or call 855-462-0100 for your personal assistance.

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