PRE-CRISIS PLANNING VS. POST-CRISIS PLANNING
Planning for a crisis may sound weird. But it becomes important as people age. Though we all would like to believe that we will remain active and healthy for whole life, unfortunately that may not be the case always. Therefore planning for a potential crisis is vitally important.
Though some people are proactive about important things such as retirement planning or making a will, most others fail to prepare for an emergency in advance. For this reason, many families get into crisis mode for dealing with the issues that have arisen unexpectedly. This is called post-crisis planning. Many families should have faced this when an aging loved one has an emergency like having a stroke or falling and sustaining severe injuries.
Though many hospitals have medical social workers who can help you in the process, there will be numerous issues and questions still to be addressed. Here are some examples:
- Who can care for the senior after discharge from the hospital? Can we do it ourselves? Is it possible for the family caregiver to work and balance his or her own life while caring for the loved one?
- Is it possible to hire an in-home caregiver to care for the senior? How to find a good caregiver to treat the elderly with compassion and kindness while providing the necessary care and helps they need?
- How much does it cost to hire an in-home aide? How can we access the senior’s savings to pay for the service? What to do if they run out of cash?
- Will the senior be able to continue living in their own home safely? The bedroom is upstairs…would it be possible for them go up and down the steps in the current situation? Are the doorways wide enough for a wheelchair? Will it be a good idea to move our loved one to a retirement home where he will be cared for properly?
Pre-crisis planning helps seniors and their families answer most of the above-mentioned questions in advance. This helps them alleviate the general stress associated with a health emergency. Pre-crisis planning helps seniors and families control and make the right choices prior to a serious situation. The planning may include things such as ensuring to have sufficient retirement savings for covering the expenses of future care, preparing a will and advance directives etc. It also includes proactively studying regarding long-term senior care options that you may need in the future. Some examples are:
- Exploring senior living options such as independent living, assisted living and nursing homes, finding their quality scores, and visiting a few reputable communities in person to determine if you are fully satisfied with the facility and staff.
- Finding nearby home healthcare agencies with outstanding reputation and understand their cost structure.
- Consulting with a professional geriatric care manager who can evaluate, plan, organize, and provide services for seniors and their families during the transition period.
- Adding someone as a signatory to financial accounts.
- Choosing a reputable financial advisor who can help families in financial planning for long-term care.