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Use wisdom in your latter-years choices
Use wisdom in your latter-life choices
By Dan Langerock
Do you have a plan for your latter years, or are you just biding your time to see what happens next? Many people either don’t want to think about these choices or doggedly hang onto their independence for so long that someone else has to make the choices for them.
What will happen if you take the attitude of not attending to these issues?
1) ` Someone else will make the choice for you when you can-or-will-not make it for yourself. If you do not designate a person to be your power of attorney, then a stranger may have to make these decisions. Presumably, you know best what you want to happen at the end of your life for residence and medical and financial decisions. Therefore, you should write these things down and be very specific what you do and do not want to happen in the medical as well as the financial sense.
For instance, if you do not want to be put on a respirator at the hospital, then make that clear. Do you want tests run to the nth degree? Who will make the decisions for your medical care when you cannot. You can revoke these items if you change your mind, but at least put them down in writing and share them with the appropriate people.
2) If you try to hang onto your independence longer than needed in the realm of driving, you may hurt someone seriously, or even yourself. Be wise and realize when you should not be driving anymore so this doesn’t happen to you. Can you imagine how you would feel if you hurt or killed someone because you wanted to drive longer than you should? It is not a matter of chronological age, but ability to think and the motor skills involved.
3) Another area you can be wise is where you will be living in your latter years. Maybe instead of living in a big home, a mobile home is better suited to you now. Or check out a local retirement home and see how it is run, then make a decision. There are many good ones around, but there are also poorly run homes as well. Remember, that if you don’t select this yourself, you may be put in one when you can no longer make that decision. To me, it would be more wise to put myself in a place I liked and was available now, than to wait until someone else has to make that decision in a hurry, and perhaps not get the one with the right fit for your needs. Of course, there are other choices besides these that have been mentioned, but it is just a primer to get you thinking.
Have you made plans for your latter years? Please think about these things and evaluate your situation realistically so you can be happy in your later life, instead of miserable being somewhere you may not want to be. It is good to be independent, of course, but you can make your life happier by making choices that will lead to happiness. Even if you never have to follow the plan you’ve made, you will be more at peace knowing that plan is there if it is ever needed.
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21 May 2003
Very good article, appropriate words chosen. Message presented very well. Thanks for posting it.
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