Take Action for Successful Aging
Ageing is a wonderful experience when one toggles through teens, adolescence and young adulthood. Ageing becomes discomforting in thirties and forties. As one inches closer to retirement, ageing can be fun or it can be horrifying. It all boils down to some simple realities. Health, finances, relationships with family and personal satiation are the key factors that determine if you would age successfully.
Everyone has a role to play here. The seniors or the ageing members of the family must chip in, so should the kids who are perhaps now married and parents themselves and everyone in the family who is capable of participating. Even teenage grandchildren have a role to play. Let us get things into perspective and highlight the issues that prevent successful ageing.
- Many seniors don’t have an action plan. They don’t have a well laid out plan how they would want to be attended to, what kind of medical intervention they want, by whom and how should they be cared for towards the end of life.
- Many issues are left in disarray and without any concrete measures. Financial issues, assets and different kinds of powers of attorney have to be discussed as well. It is not wise to presume that everyone in the family would be on the same page. Who gets to have the final call, who gets to share what responsibility and thereon who gets what are just some of the imperative issues to be sorted out.
- Seniors should also be able to discuss what kind of life they want post retirement, while ageing further and then while needing end of life care.
The aforementioned issues bring us to the end of life conversations, which can also happen well before seniors are ailing or at the end of their lives. There is no rule that says you cannot talk about the wishes of your parents or grandparents while they are hale and hearty. Usually, you should talk to your parents or grandparents when they are seventy. But you can also talk to them in their sixties or fifties.
Families should get together, speak out their hearts and minds, express their desires and what they absolutely need, financial issues should be sorted and responsibilities must be bestowed. All this must be put in writing so no one can disagree later. Such small steps can make the lives of seniors and their children, grandchildren and other family members more rewarding.