When it comes to planning ahead, you might use computer programs, apps, or “old-fashioned” notebooks to help you stay in touch and stay on track. It’s likely you’ve scheduled an appointment or play-date recently, and you’ve probably given some thought toward birthday parties, funerals, and even retirement.
But what about the years following retirement? What will happen when your memory worsens or you are hospitalized? Thankfully, there is a new website that helps you plan for health events that come with age.
Plan Your Life Span
Plan Your Life Span is a free website created by seniors, geriatricians, university researchers, social workers, communications experts, and home care specialists. Released by Northwestern University, it provides advanced health planning for seniors.
BB&C first learned about the site when attorney Roger Bennett attended an Indiana State Bar Association Elder Law Section meeting. Afterward, Roger walked himself through the site’s entire planning process. He noted that the information on the site can be shared with family and friends.
“I want to share it with my son and my wife, and encourage her to go through the process as well,” said Roger.
Plan Your Life Span covers five topics:
- memory loss and Alzheimer’s,
- talking to others, and
Each topic offers general information and—when appropriate—asks for your personal preferences, such as “Where would you like to rehabilitate after a hospital stay?” and “Which home health agencies would you entertain if you are able to return home, but need additional help?”. The site also asks oft-overlooked questions like “What pharmacy do you use?” and “Who would collect your mail if you were incapacitated?”.
As Roger said, “The site helps you systematically think through … a lot of ‘what if’ questions.”
Roger also noted, under the “falls” topic, that Plan Your Life Span offers several tips for avoiding falls. It suggests possible home modifications, and features a database that helps locate resources to help plan for those modifications. Here in Tippecanoe County, not-for-profit organization Area IV Agency serves the needs of the elderly. It also responds to the needs of aging adults and their caregivers in several surrounding counties.
No One Knows What Their Future Health Holds
The core principle of Plan Your Life Span? To serve as a resource, and to provide you with the opportunity to fill in your details, make updates, and share your plan with your loved ones. As the home page says, “No one knows what their future health holds, but everyone wants to have their voice heard throughout their life span.”
Roger agrees that Plan Your Life Span differs from wills, trusts, and end-of-life care, and encourages his clients to check it out.
“It’s the sort of thing we know we should be planning for, but it’s helpful to have step-by-step guidance,” he said. “And since the site is free, there’s no financial insecurity in approaching the topic.”
To discuss elder law issues, contact us at 765-742-9066.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.