Guest Columnist: New Year’s Resolution - Goals for Aging
Today we are featuring a guest column, written by one of our partners, Amy Smialowicz Fowler. Amy is a care manager and the owner of WNC Geriatric Care Management. (Learn more at www.wncgcm.com.)
It is the time of year to start diets, dust off your sneakers and think about your goals for aging. That is a new one, right? Why not use this season of new beginnings to be proactive about planning for your future? We all age and thankfully we do have the option to make this a smooth process. It is only with thoughtfulness, however, that we can achieve our aging goals.
First, you must understand your current health needs and how this may change as you age. Your physician is the best person to talk to about disease prognosis and progression. Once equipped with this information, you can consider questions like: will I need help getting dressed, fixing a meal, taking my medications, walking and transferring? These answers will reveal what level of care you may need down the road.
AARP studies show that 90 percent of American older than 65 want to stay in their homes. This can be a reality by receiving care in your home through private caregiving agencies or caregivers. Remember that care in your home is not covered by Medicare and therefore will be an out-of-pocket expense. In addition, you must consider your home and if you can safely age in place. Fourteen stairs to your front door and you are already having trouble with walking? Staying in your current environment may not be feasible even with caregiver support.