United is hosting a free webinar June 3 to provide advice on how to plan for your next stage of life. Entitled, Planning Your Next Stage – Making Informed Choices, the hour-long webinar will provide suggestions for ensuring the necessary steps are in place so that you or your parent can enjoy the next stage of life worry free.
“During the webinar, we will discuss the importance of being prepared,” said Kera Redlack, director of health and wellness. “In many cases Wills, Personal Directives (PD) and Powers of Attorney (PoA) are left until the last minute. It is really important to be proactive rather than reactive, to talk with the older adults in your life to understand what their goals are for aging and what lifestyle is important to them.”
Ross and Ellenore Campbell, who will be on the webinar panel, said that while the PD and PoA are important, lifestyle considerations are equally so. “We knew that we wanted to continue to live independently. United offered us the lifestyle, amenities and other options that we were looking for. After moving, we realized that the lifestyle here opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Living here matches our lifestyle expectations plus the peace of mind that should we need care in the future, it’s all right here.”
“It’s not always as simple as making a decision to move from the family home into a community such as United Active Living,” said Amy McDonough, United Minds manager. “Even if you are completely independent, it’s still a good idea to have your wishes written down so family members know exactly what you want should you no longer be able to decide for yourself.”
Having a Will in place always makes sense, but there are other documents to consider such as the PD and a PoA. A PD allows you to name someone to make personal decisions on your behalf should you lose the ability to do so, and lists areas such as health care in which someone else would have the decision-making authority. A PoA is similar but it names someone to handle your financial affairs.
Having the difficult discussions with family before an emergency arises can be difficult, but families want to do what is best, so knowing ahead of time what decisions should be made makes everything easier.
“Having the discussion can be emotionally challenging,” said Kera. “What one family member expects may not be what the older adult wants. Expectations need to be set so there is no second guessing. There may be a lot of things a family doesn’t know about the parents, so getting that written down is very important.”
“There are instances where families are unaware of what is required to have these documents fully enacted,” said Amy. “It’s the missing link, because you need a capacity assessment done by two physicians before they can be enacted. We talk about these documents when you decide to move into one of our communities, so if you are independent and healthy they aren’t urgent, but if an older adult moves in who already needs assistance or memory care, having the documents in order is more important.”
The webinar panel will include professionals Amy McDonough and Kera Redlack who can provide the professional guidance you need, as well as two residents of United’s Fish Creek community, Ross and Ellenore Campbell, who live an independent lifestyle at Fish Creek West. They decided early to have all of their preferences written down, and talked with the family about them. You can read more about them here.
The webinar is free to attend, but we ask you to register with us. Spaces are limited, so let us know as soon as possible whether you wish to attend. Send an email to email@example.com with your name, email and phone number, and be sure to mark your calendar for June 3 at noon (MDT). We will send you login instructions prior to the event.
Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.
Don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour at your convenience. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!
To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.