Something that I have had to go through now twice in less than a year, has been helping an elderly family member transition from living on their own to living in some sort of care facility. This is because these family members are no longer able to care for themselves due to failing health and memory.
A few things I have learned, or wish that the family member I have had to help did before they hit this stage in their lives:
1) Downsize – The amount of…. Stuff, crap, trash, things? That we build up in our lives can be pretty intense. Taking the time to go through and downsize your hoard before you get to the point that you cannot anymore means somebody else is going to have to do it for you. And you are not going to like what they choose to keep/get rid of. Not acquiring things to begin with, or keeping it to a minimal amount helps.
2) List your stuff out – Bank accounts, income sources, storage units, etc. Write down where everything is. One of the family members had a storage unit we had 0 clue about until we got a bill for it’s payment. This storage unit is out of state from us. There is no way for us to go and see what is even it in, they also have money coming from multiple sources, and bank accounts they no longer remember having. keep things organized, and listed out. Just the sheer amount of effort it is taking to track things down is next level.
3) Talk to your family members. Let them know what your wishes are before you get too old/incapacitated. Let them know what your health is, let them know if you think you might need some help. Finding out a year after somebody has had a stroke… that they had a stroke is far too late. Too many things are lost and gone.
4) Surround yourself with good people. The number of leaches, thieves, and scum that see an easy target is high. Trying to fend these people off, and get them to let go of what was their easy meal ticket is very hard. Don’t let these people in your life to start with.
5) Don’t be afraid. It’s something we’ll all go through at some point, preparing for it, planning for it will make it so much easier. but don’t be afraid of it.