We can never predict what life or death can bring. However, we can always prepare. End of life planning can involve a whole process of introspection, learning, and discussion with your loved ones. End of life planning in older adults aims to provide tools to control their financial and healthcare decisions when they are no longer in a state to do so.
Here are the top tips that can help an older person with the end of life planning:
- Plan ahead for the last stages of life
Most older people think of the end of life planning as planning for the last moments of their life. Rather, the planning should involve having healthcare plans that help navigate the healthcare decisions in the later stages of life. The planning should help you, your loved ones or your doctor navigate the crucial healthcare decisions needed. Consider drawing up a health care directive and give copies to doctors and family.
- Talk to your doctors to know what to expect
Talking to your doctors about what to expect is especially important for people with chronic conditions. If you know how these chronic conditions progress, you know what to expect and how to plan ahead. You may also look for extra information from other medical experts.
- Take the process of reflection seriously
The older person needs to reflect on their preferences, values, and wishes. There are several online tools available to help you do that. Aging adults should be able to answer vital questions like choosing a decision-maker, and the flexibility that the decision-maker has. Help them understand what truly matters to them and how to let others know of their wishes.
- Prepare to face uncertainty
Nothing works as it’s been planned in life. Hence, it is essential to be prepared for life's uncertainties. You may have made a decision now, however, it may not always be the right decision at a later stage in life. Be prepared to weigh the pros and cons of a situation and then make a decision according to it.
End of life planning is often a difficult topic for older adults as well as their families. Besides the medical aspects, it is also important to keep relationships, emotions, and spirituality in mind when making decisions.
Thanks for reading,