Why is it that many of us seem to have a funeral plan locked in, yet we haven’t made plans for our own retirement? Whilst we can’t control our ageing, we can control how we age! Plus, with a little bit of planning, it can be such a positive experience!
I want the community to be informed and recognise the importance of planning for the future when it comes to aged care. Too often I see families rush to service providers after a particular event, for example, an accident, a dementia diagnosis or the death of a spouse.
Ageing now is a journey that embraces individual choice
This lack of planning puts additional pressure on the families involved. Plus, it provides an opportunity for people to miss out on services that could be of great benefit to their emotional and physical wellbeing. As our ageing population continues to grow, I am inspired by the possibilities and opportunities to do new and interesting things to support Australia’s over 55s.
Our traditional expectations of what ‘should’ happen as people age have rightfully been changing. Ageing now is a journey that embraces individual choice. That includes what meaningful activities we want to keep doing. Plus, it addresses how we want to continue contributing to our community and what support services can assist us along the way.
better things come to those who plan!
Top 3 tips
Here are my top three tips to consider ensuring that ageing is in your control. First, decide what you want to do with the people you care about?
- Hold a family meeting or with your power of attorney
- Make sure everyone is on the same page
Start the paperwork now – look at preadmission and get your head around the financials and how they can for eg. impact your pension
- Visit homes and facilities and look for things that are important to you, like culture and leadership
- Have early conversations with providers and financial advisers about what type of offer is best for your circumstance
- Start making arrangements
Try before you buy
- Go in for a few weeks and see if you like it – speak with providers and residents, and even attend some resident functions – choose the right village to suit your lifestyle
- It’s a big shift, so make sure you are going to be happy
I encourage people of all ages to consider what they are looking for when it comes to aged care. Begin the conversation with your family to ensure everyone is on the same page. They say good things come to those who wait. However, from my 20 plus years of experience in aged care, even better things come to those who plan!
I take pride in my clients feeling like they are 19, not 90. Plus, I like them to feel that life has just truly ‘just begun’. There is a great life to live as you age – plan to make the most of it.
Chris How is the Chief Executive Officer & President of Bethanie Group, one of Western Australia’s leading not-for-profit aged care and retirement living providers. A dedicated Health and Community Industry Leader, Chris has participated on a number of industry related boards over the past decade including LASA – Leading Aged Services Association, as National Director and President of the LASA, Western Australian Chapter. Chris is a Board Director of Interlife Group, and has recently been appointed as Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aged Care Forum. Chris holds a number of degrees across Nursing, Education, Health Management and has also achieved a Masters of Business Administration.