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When you are a senior living alone with little or no family the messages posted here by caregivers can be distressing. Is this the wrong venue to ask how independent, single seniors can prepare (as much as they can) for being alone and needing care under various health conditions. For example, should one enter a care facility before absolute need? Can you plan for management of your last days through an institution or legal entity? Trust and funds becomes a major issue, of course.


I would so appreciate hearing what seniors (who are alone) are preparing for their final years.

Yes, I posted here late last year. This has been on my mind for years. at almost 70, still mobile, with more slowing health issues, I very clearly recognize (from past emergency surgery, surprise diagnosis, 3 WEEKS in hospital 300 miles away from home and 2 dogs needing care!) that I DO NOT have any family, no children, and other good friends are old TOO,and live out of state, their own spouses and health limit their ability to travel to me, and now me to them.

1. I want to 'age in place' - am stubborn on that.
2. Cost of housing ANYwhere isn the US that is close to needed hospitals and medical care is far too costly to move. So I stopped being "cavalier' about just selling and leaving. Will stay in crappy old cottage that I love.
3. I KNOW what I want in my will, anything left is for several great charities i support, so no relatives to work with. So I met with a lawyer and am in the process now. the WHO sells your house, disposes of all your 'stuff', who sells your car, settles the last bills, bank account closing and etc? That can be handled by a NEW service for we singles ...
4. a PROFESSIONAL FIDUCIARY- this is a newer, serious/safe trained and certified person-not lawyer, but can be a CPA trained in this too... who handles much of the above for you. HERE IS MY RECENT EXPERIENCE:
- it costs NOTHING for first exploratory visit- then a flat fee to meet to hash out what you need to do, then NO cost at all until you need services years later, or after an emergency hospital stay-so animals are cared for and fed, bills paid, they have your house key, etc. They do ANYthing you would do as you normally do-usuallyfor a fee-split in 1/6 hour increments, as a lawyer does and filling in all my wants, and they make sure nothing is missed,, up to including FINDING and overseeing HOME HEALTH Care for you after a surgery, if you need 24/7 care, where you go, etc. etc.. I will need ALL of that. So I am sitting down in a few weeks to go thru all my wishes.
-I interviewed 2 local companies, one was not able to do all I needed, one was warm and much more clear on what they do.
-They communicate with the lawyer, are cheaper per hour, do what lawyers cant. and NO DRAMA, with relatives unable to do the job of executor, etc.

I ALSO just got brave and really thought about organizing death/burial, etc. I know what I don't want, there are new 'green burial' options, our cemetery explained the options, by phone, not gone there yet.. I also called the local business that accepts your body from the hospital or ?, and follows your wishes. and I prefer cremation I think, no embalming if buried in wicker/simple wood box. Took me a while to think the thru.

So thats where I am, LOVE to hear from others.
I do have smaller SS, I try to live on that and not touch savings, so I accept keeping an old (safe) car, not spending to remodel this old cottage. keeping things simple.
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Reply to PrivateCitizen
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ps I can show the link to my 'fiduciary' care taker if that i allowed, and requested.

you can also look up the CA organization to see the info. www.fiduciary.ca.gov

more states have this too so please look for your state.
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Reply to PrivateCitizen
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Great question

many of us will be in the same situation
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Reply to MsMadge
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Hello, Paul. Congratulations on doing advanced preparation to insure your comfort down the road. This is an issue on our horizon as well. My suggestion would be to research facilities that have different levels of service that you can move through as your circumstances change: Independent living to assisted living to memory care or assisted living to memory care. The more information you have, the clearer and easier your decisions will be. Go online and read everything you can on various facilities. Check the ratings and reviews for each facility. U.S. News and World Reports is an excellent source. Call several places, make appointments to speak to the director, take a tour, ask questions, keep good notes on each facility and your impressions. You will quickly see which ones are compatible for your needs. Make sure that a facility will guarantee a bed for you as your circumstances change. For instance, if you enter into assisted living, will they guarantee a bed in memory care should that be necessary. Make sure your finances are in order. Make sure a facility can assist you apply for Medicaid if that becomes necessary by doing the paperwork preparation in advance as it can be a bit daunting. Talk to a trusted family member or members about becoming your medical and/or durable POA. An institution or legal entity can represent you but that costs money you may not have. Check with your bank on that. You may want to consult with an attorney for advice on your situation and have a trust and wills set up properly. Again, you can never have too much information to make sure your needs are met. Best wishes.
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Reply to jkrusebaron1
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nycpaull Jan 6, 2019
While their are excellent lists of things to do which I've tried to follow, there is nothing like the feedback from experience - something not easily done for end of life preparation. However this site is unique in having connection with people who are literally observing the death of others. There is no doubt that their feelings and stories about the process can be valuable for their own future plans as well as ours. I do hope that AgingCare takes advantage of this source of real experience to learn some real-life lessons and share them with us.
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I would love a section on this too. Great idea.
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Reply to Segoline
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Hello, nycpaull -- Yes, I'm in that boat with you, and I'm just beginning to get my mind around it. More later. Realtime.
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Reply to realtime
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