Are you ready for the what if

Are You Ready for the What If?

Your intention is to “age in place” as long as possible in your beautiful, cherished home. At least, that’s the plan. But what if that plan changed unexpectedly?

The cliches: Be Prepared and Plan Ahead should be on the wall next to all the other positive signs in our homes. But seldom do we see those as important messages—probably because it’s human nature to leave so much to chance. And outside of determining how we’ll use our retirement funds and buttoning up our medical and insurance needs, we don’t think about where we’d like to be in the event we must leave our home and live somewhere else, temporarily or long-term.

If you must make a choice, especially a medically related one, where would you choose to live? It’s best to have researched a few assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, or long-term care facilities. Then, choose some options and put them in a written document. Also, know how costs will be paid. Will you use insurance, benefits, or personal funds?

Creating this document offers peace of mind should you require one of those “living” scenarios. Your need may come from something totally unexpected that has nothing to do with age.  I worked with a woman who fell and shattered her leg and arm. She had no one at home to help her upon discharge from the hospital. She required continued care and had to find an assisted living facility. She had no idea where to go and no time to make a well thought out choice.

We don’t think about needing this special document while we’re happily ‘aging in place.’ And it’s not often found with other important documentation, but it’s very important to have. Make sure family members, friends, or even a neighbor have a copy just in case. Include who to contact in case if emergency, where to take you, your doctor’s info, and any other pertinent information.

FYI: I’ll be holding a series of Positive Aging programs at Paseo Verde library in Henderson throughout October 2022. Visit for more information.

Pat Landaker is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and owner of Living La Vida Senior. She serves on the ASA’s Innovation and Social Impact Council, the CSA’s Certification Council, the City of Henderson’s Senior Citizens Advisory Commission and she teaches Positive Aging at UNLV/OLLI. Contact her at [email protected].

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