The statistics are there – there are more Canadians over age 65 than under age 15. The pandemic has provided horrific images of isolation and neglect that’s made every Baby Boomer vow, ‘that will never be me’. So how can Boomers be sure? Take charge of yourself, your health, your financial affairs, even your relationships, with a view to how you want to future to be. Here are the steps:
Do the Math
- Do the math, realistically…what’s the potential value of your existing home, what are your options for housing and support, what will they cost, how will they be acquired and managed? Appoint a Power of Attorney for Property; make sure the person knows you’ve appointed them, that they want the task, and ideally are younger than you so they’ll be able to act when the time comes. Some people choose their law firm for this position.
Write it Down
- Do the paperwork…your Will and estate plans for after you die, but more importantly, the documents needed for quality of life – your Living Will which outlines your wishes for extraordinary measures, comfort measures, resuscitation orders, palliative care and even MAID (medical assistance in death). Appoint a Power of Attorney for Care, someone who understands your beliefs and wishes, is willing to act and ideally, understands something of the health care system.
Find your ‘Tribe’
- Find your ‘tribe’ and stay connected. At this stage of life, we often ‘choose our family’ and staying connected to life, activities and selected associations is key. Don’t ignore technology; learn and use social media to expand your horizons.
- Stay connected – to others, to technology, to new ideas. We don’t know how things will emerge, but there will certainly be things you didn’t foresee and possible don’t like. Learn to roll with it instead of spending your energy on fighting change – embrace it.