Service Animals for Seniors

service dogs Most people are familiar with the concept of a service animal. You have probably seen dogs wearing brightly-colored vests, walking city streets with their owners. These animals are more than just pets. They provide a valuable service. They assist the deaf, blind, and other  people with various disabilities. Some of these animals are trained specifically to assist senior citizens. Aging individuals face unique challenges and service dogs can provide necessary assistance.

 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) service animals are legally permitted to venture nearly anywhere in order to assist the owner. These highly skilled animals can perform numerous tasks, such as:

  • Turning light switches on and off
  • Recognizing and alerting owner of specific sounds (doorbell, telephone, knocking)
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Reminding the owner to take medications
  • Guiding the owner across streets safely
  • Triggering an emergency call

 

Service Animals for Dementia

Because dementia is technically considered a mental illness, it falls under the ADA. So,service animals for seniors with all types of dementia are permitted  to go most anywhere. These dogs provide their owners with comfort, security, and companionship.

Some common tasks these animals perform include:

  • Assist with mobility, particularly balance
  • Help owner stick to a familiar routine
  • Tactile and cognitive stimulation
  • Relieve symptoms of loneliness and depression
  • Alert others if the owner falls
  • Help prevent the owner from getting lost when venturing outside the home
  • Remind owner to take medications or perform other important tasks  

 

Benefits

Seniors with dementia benefit immensely from owning and working with service animals. Such dogs may improve communication skills, and encourage their owners to exercise. Many seniors who have previously been unresponsive to therapies tend to do very well with service animals. Some people are simply more willing to communicate and connect with their pets. It also provides an opportunity for social interaction with other pet owners. Beyond the obvious health and safety benefits, service dogs provide valuable emotional support as well. The bond between a service dog and its owner is essential for those with dementia.

Disabilities

Service animals assist people with diverse disabilities including:

  • Blindness/visual impairment
  • Deftness
  • Seizure disorders
  • Mobility impairments
  • Diabetes
  • Mental illness\emotional disorders

If you believe your loved one could benefit from owning a service dog, it’s certainly worth further research.   Most states offer free service animals to those who qualify. There is often a significant waiting period and a training program requirement for new pet owners. You may also choose to purchase a service animal from a professional trainer.  Buying a service animal from a private trainer can be costly, as it takes much time and effort to properly prepare one of these animals. If you are interested, below are a few resources to help you get started.

National Association of Service Dogs

National Service Animal Registry

US Service Animals

 

The Importance of Respite Care

 

Caring for aging loved ones is a noble endeavor, but it can come with tremendous challenges. Family caregivers can sometimes endure an enormous amount of physical, emotional, and financial strain. It’s difficult to provide optimal care for your loved one if you are unwell. This is where respite care enters the picture, offering caregivers a much-needed break.

 

What is respite care?

It is simply temporary care from someone other than the primary caregiver. It could be a professional, a friend, a relative, or even a volunteer. First, the primary caregiver must understand their own needs. How much time do you need away from your duties? How frequently do you need breaks? Then, you must determine the needs of the senior, and select a caregiver who can meet those needs adequately. For example, if you need three hours on Saturday to do some shopping and your loved one just needs some companionship during that time perhaps a teenage relative could fill that gap. Alternatively, if you need a three-day break, you may need to hire a professional who can handle more intense tasks.

Benefits of respite care

The positive results of respite care are not only useful for the caregiver, but also for the person receiving care. When the caregiver is well, her or she is able to provide the best care.

  • Relaxation – Dedicating a little time to yourself is calming and can improve your mood. Do not underestimate the power of relaxation.
  • Re-energize – A vehicle cannot run on an empty tank of gas. Similarly, the human body needs fuel and energy to function properly. You must feed the body, mind, and soul to rejuvenate.
  • Surroundings – It’s important to spend some quality time away from the care-giving environment to avoid burnout. Simply hanging out in a different space can be tremendously helpful.
  • Changing perspective – Stepping outside of your care-giving duties allows you to look at things from a fresh perspective. You can see the bigger picture and possibly find better solutions and new ways of handling things.
  • Maintaining identity – Your role as a caregiver is important, but it should not consume your identity. You are a complete person and getting frequent breaks helps you remember that you are more than a caregiver.
  • Socialize – Isolation can be a serious problem for caregivers. Allow time for social engagement and interaction. Do things that you enjoy with people you like.

It may be difficult to find respite care. However, if you tap into all your resources, you will likely find assistance. If you do not have friends or relatives to help, check with local organizations. Many communities have volunteer respite programs. The ARCH National Respite Network is a great online source for more information.

 

How the Net Neutrality Repeal Impacts Seniors

Net Neutrality rules were put in place to protect the Internet and those who use it. These directives prohibited Internet service providers from throttling internet speeds or blocking access to particular websites. Under these guidelines, Internet access was treated as a utility. This means everyone had equal access to services. The growth and freedom experienced through the Internet are largely due to the protections of net neutrality. Unfortunately, Net Neutrality has been repealed, and it is likely to have a significant negative impact on everyone. Many seniors, especially those living on a fixed income, will be affected. Even senior living communities will suffer some consequences. So, how exactly will the Net Neutrality repeal impact senior citizens?

Two Separate Paths  

The most likely outcome of the repeal involves Internet service providers creating two distinct pathways to the Internet. In other words, there will be a “fast lane” and a “slow lane.” In order to access the web at reasonable speeds, individuals will need to pay more money to use the “fast lane.” Furthermore, companies who receive high amounts of traffic to their websites will pay additional “tolls” in the form of fees likely passed on to consumers. People who are unwilling or unable to pay will simply have to deal with slower Internet speeds. Some websites and services may even be completely blocked for users who cannot pay for service upgrades. This would clearly have a negative impact on low-income people, including seniors living on a fixed income. Internet access could be limited or even nonexistent for many people. Seniors use the web, just like younger people. They communicate with friends and family, pay bills, watch videos and acquire information. All the amazing things the Internet has to offer could be restricted unless one can afford to pay the extra fees. Currently, 20% of Americans cannot afford Internet service. This number is expected to increase substantially under the new Net Neutrality repeal, as discussed in The Guardian..

Mobile Plans

Most mobile plans already have data caps. Plan prices will likely increase, and consumers may need to pay extra in order to access certain websites and services via their portable devices. Some older adults are already struggling to pay for cell phone service. Increased pricing may force them out entirely or cause them to switch to a less reliable mobile carrier. This could be dangerous as seniors need to be able to make emergency calls and communicate with important contacts.

The Impact on Senior Living Communities

For communities to conduct business and provide quality services, operators will need to purchase “fast lane” Internet packages. The increased pricing will be an inconvenience, but most senior living communities can afford the additional cost. Specific websites or programs may require special subscriptions. In this case, communities may have to drop some features to stay within budget.

80% of Americans are in favor of keeping Net Neutrality regulations. It is impossible to predict the exact impact of the repeal. In the meantime, some government entities and public organizations are fighting to reinstate Net Neutrality rules. For now, anything is possible and the fate of the Internet is in the hands of the Internet service providers. We can only hope that they will wield their power with grace rather than greed.

 

Preparing Seniors for Hazardous Winter Weather

 With winter in full swing, many areas throughout the country are experiencing dangerous weather conditions. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable during these situations, as caregivers or emergency call responders may be unable to travel and reach the individual in need. There are some things you can do to help your aged loved one prepare for hazardous winter weather.

Cold Temperatures

Freezing temperatures can be quite dangerous for seniors. If a person’s body temperature falls too low, he or she may suffer from hypothermia or frostbite. These conditions can be fatal. In fact, people over age 65 account for approximately half of the annual deaths caused by hypothermia. The most obvious way to prepare for cold weather is to dress in warm layers. Ask your loved one to stay indoors whenever possible and wear a hat, gloves, and scarf when venturing outside. Warm socks and appropriate footwear are also essential. Indoor temperatures should be kept at a comfortable level. Additionally, it is advised to store extra blankets in case of emergency.

Power Outage

It’s important to prepare for a power outage: not only for cold-weather circumstances, but for any emergency or natural disaster. Ensure that your loved one has easy access to flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio, a first-aid kit, some bottled water and nonperishable food items. Most experts agree that about three days worth of supplies are sufficient to get through a minor incident. If a power outage occurs during freezing temperatures, and your older loved ones have no access to heat, it’s crucial that they dress warm indoors and move around frequently to raise core body temperature.

Isolation

Seniors often become isolated during the winter months because travel is more difficult. Loneliness may lead to depression, so it’s important to initiate frequent contact with the older people in your life. A brief, daily phone call may be enough to keep a person’s spirits up. You can also ask friends or neighbors to stop in and check on your loved one. Frequent contact is the key.

Carbon Monoxide

The use of a fireplace, gas or propane heater, or lantern can create dangerous carbon monoxide. It is crucial that you have properly working carbon monoxide detectors in the home if your loved one is heating with these methods. Overexposure to this particular gas can cause serious illness or even death.

Ice

Slipping on ice is dangerous for anyone, but seniors are especially prone to injury and complications from a serious fall. To help avoid accidents, ask your loved one to stay indoors until roads and sidewalks are clear. If they must go outdoors, shoes with excellent traction are necessary. Furthermore, remove shoes immediately upon returning indoors because ice and snow that have attached to the shoes will melt, creating slippery indoor conditions. Additionally, replace worn cane tips to help provide safer mobility. Emergency call alert systems are helpful for seniors who live alone.

If your loved one is in a senior living community, check with the community to determine what precautions they take to protect their residents. Confirm they have working Fall detection systems. Ask about how they ensure floors are kept dry, and what procedures are in place to ensure residents, particularly those with dementia, do not wander outside unmonitored.

Winter weather hazards should not be taken lightly. Following these simple precautions can prevent a catastrophe for your aging loved ones. Take the time to ensure that the seniors in your life are prepared for the winter season.

 

How Men and Women Age Differently

 It’s no surprise that men and women age differently. Not only do our physical bodies handle the aging process in varying ways, but our coping abilities are also starkly contrasted. Extensive research in this area shows exactly how men and women age differently.

  • Longevity – It’s a well-known statistic that women have a longer lifespan than men. In general, females live approximately five to six years more than males, as stated in this 2014 report by the World Health Organization.There are numerous theories as to why this is the case. Scientists have not yet pinpointed exact causes, although they have speculated stress and lifestyle as leading factors.
  • Happiness – Women are reportedly more content during their senior years. This is attributed to women having better communication skills and more empathy, and likely more intimate/personal relationships. Men are more likely to become lonely and depressed as they age because they have fewer emotional coping skills.
  • Weight gain – Both sexes begin to gain weight after the age of 30. Men typically stop gaining in their mid-50’s while women continue to put on weight until about age 65.
  • Skin – Men lose less collagen and have thicker skin, therefore showing fewer signs of aging.
  • Hair loss – Both men and women experience hair loss during the aging process. However, men are much more susceptible to pattern baldness.
  • Disease – Certain diseases affect men or women more prevalently. For example, men are more likely to have Parkinson’s disease while women are more prone to suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Gender Differences in Senior Care

Because of the longevity gap, assisted-living communities have seven female residents to every one male. Skilled nursing facilities have rates hovering closer to 10 to 1. You might think that men would like these odds. However, a lot of men feel that senior living communities are too feminine. This can create challenges when attempting to select the best community for your loved one. Senior men have different needs than women, and it’s important to find a community that has plenty to offer male residents.

Men have a significantly more difficult time coping with the aging process. Many men based their self-worth on their societal or professional role in life. Once they are no longer working, they may begin to feel useless. Without essential social interaction, they can become lonely and depressed. Here are some things you can do to help the older men in your life:

  • Give them “jobs” and responsibilities. This gives them a sense of value.
  • Allow them to teach younger people some useful skills. Intergenerational activities are highly beneficial to seniors and youngsters. This helps the older person feel important and useful.
  • Recognize the person’s history and identity.

Males tend to value independence and leadership. Anything you can do to reinforce these feelings will be immensely helpful to aging men. Take these factors into consideration when approaching delicate topics with the senior men in your life.

Aging is inevitable for both men and women. Although we experience the process differently, we are in many ways the same. All senior citizens need to feel valued and deserve the best care we can provide for them. Understanding the similarities and differences that men and women experience as they get older helps us provide optimal care.

 

Health and Happiness in the New Year: Attainable Resolutions for Seniors

 Attainable Resolutions for Seniors

 

A new year represents a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to metaphorically “wipe the slate clean” and begin to make better choices for the future. People of all ages set goals when a new year begins. Unfortunately, most individuals never achieve their objectives because their expectations are simply too high. It’s important to select new year resolutions that are achievable, yet push a person to make positive changes. Here are a few attainable new year resolutions for seniors to help them enjoy a healthier, happier life.

Nutrition

Encourage everyone, including the seniors in your life, to set nutritional goals. It doesn’t need to be anything extreme. Simply adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet may be enough to make a significant impact. We know how important nutrition is for health and longevity. Analyze your loved one’s diet and determine some realistic goals for her.

Fitness

Even people with mobility restrictions can create fitness goals. Mild to moderate physical activity can have a meaningful positive impact on a person’s life. Exercise can improve mobility, reduce risk factors for serious diseases, improve balance, and much more. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that physical activity can even improve life expectancy. Fitness goals should be tailored to a person’s specific needs and abilities. There are no shortages of exercise options. Some popular physical activities for seniors include Tai Chi, walking, and water aerobics.

Brain Boost

Seniors must keep their brains active to promote optimal cognitive function. There are many ways to give the mind a workout. This may include crossword puzzles, games, socializing, reading, and solving puzzles. A new year resolution for the brain might be something like, “I will complete three crossword puzzles each week and read one book every month.” Help your loved one find brain boosting activities that he enjoys. This makes it seem less like work and more like fun.

Speak Up

Twenty percent of seniors suffer from depression or anxiety. Encourage your loved one to talk about his feelings. A person must recognize a problem before it can be solved. Make sure the older adults in your life have someone to speak with about these issues. Their new year resolution could be a simple promise to communicate when they are feeling down or upset.

Quit Smoking

This resolution may seem completely unrealistic to some people. An older adult who has been smoking for 40 years may not be willing to stop at this point in life. However, it’s never too late to quit. We don’t need to discuss the obvious dangers of this habit. A popular alternative to cigarettes is an electronic cigarette. While they are not perfect and do contain nicotine, they are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. The goal is to have a person switch to an e-cigarette and slowly decrease the amount of nicotine intake, until eventually the user can eliminate the nicotine entirely. There are also nicotine gum products, patches and other alternative solutions for people who want to stop smoking. Some insurance companies, even some state health departments, will even cover the cost of smoking cessation products.

The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to create new habits. Persuade the seniors in your life to use this opportunity to set goals for a healthy happy future.

 

Tips for Helping Seniors Cope with the Holidays

Tips for Helping Seniors Cope with the HolidaysThe holiday season is a time of joy and celebration for many people. However, it’s a time of despair for others. This is particularly true for seniors, who may have experienced significant losses throughout their lives. Sadness is compounded when a person is dealing with loneliness, mobility restrictions, or health problems. Aged individuals often struggle the most during the holidays. There are several things you can do to help seniors get through this difficult time.

  • Shop: If possible, take your loved one out to the stores to enjoy a day of shopping. To avoid crowds, go early in the day on a weekday. Allow plenty of time for frequent breaks and maybe stop for lunch or coffee. It’s important to keep things lighthearted and simple. Try not to let him or her get exhausted or overwhelmed. This should be an enjoyable, memorable experience for both of you. If the person is unable to go shopping due to mobility or health issues, consider an online shopping adventure. You could make this a really fun experience by bringing a laptop, decorations, music, and snacks. Spend some quality time with him, and give him the opportunity to select gifts for grandchildren, etc.
  • Task assistance: Help your loved one with holiday-related tasks around the house that she may be unable to perform alone. This might include hanging decorations, gift wrapping, or baking those special cookies that she always makes for the holidays. It could be a wonderful opportunity for older grandchildren to get involved and spend some quality time with grandparents.
  • Social activities: If your loved one enjoys community or religious activities, make sure he has adequate transportation to participate in these events.
  • Inclusion: Be sure to include your loved one in your holiday experience. Even if the person has mobility restrictions, she can still help with planning or simple craft projects. Involvement is the key here. She needs to feel that she is a part of the celebration.
  • Listen: This time of year may bring up feelings of grief, and it’s important to allow people to talk through their feelings. You don’t need to offer solutions or advice, simply listen and allow him to express his feelings openly and honestly. Reminisce with him, pull out some old photos if you like, and just allow him to sit in his memories and grief.
  • Avoid exhaustion: Everyone is so busy during the holidays. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Make sure your loved one has enough downtime to avoid exhaustion. Frequent naps and rest are helpful to keep seniors healthy and active during these hectic times.

Older individuals are more likely to experience the “holiday blues.” Pay close attention to your aging loved ones to ensure they don’t slip into depression. Make sure the seniors in your life feel included and understand how important they are during the holiday season.   

 

Understanding and Preventing Frailty in Aging Adults

Frailty in Aging AdultsFrailty is a common issue for senior citizens. It is not, however, an inevitable part of aging. Frailty is a syndrome caused by numerous mental and physical factors. Frail people are more likely to become disabled and spend time in the hospital. They tend to get infections more easily because their immune systems are not functioning properly. People who smoke, suffer from depression, have serious medical problems, or are underweight are prone to frailty. While there is no cure for this complex condition, frailty syndrome in older adults can be prevented and treated.

What is frailty syndrome?

It is generally measured by the following symptoms:

  •         Muscle weakness
  •         Fatigue and exhaustion
  •         Weight loss
  •         Slow movement, especially walking
  •         Low activity

Sarcopenia – This is an underlying biological factor of frailty and is characterized by a loss of muscle mass. It is different than muscle atrophy because it replaces muscle with fat and fibroids. Individuals experiencing sarcopenia have decreased muscle strength and general muscle weakness.

Osteoporosis – This condition most often affects older women. It is indicated by low bone density, and those afflicted with this condition are more likely to experience bone fractures and breaks. It can have a significant negative impact on a person’s quality of life and longevity.

Prevention

Fitness

Physical activity is crucial to help avoid frailty. Just a little exercise each day can make a significant difference. Physical activities should be structured according to the individual’s abilities. Walking, for example, is a wonderful way to improve balance, muscle mass, and heart health. Resistance exercises are great for increasing muscle mass as well. If the person is able, he or she should use weights or bands for this endeavor.

Cognitive wellness

It is also important to keep the mind active. There are numerous ways to exercise the brain. Crossword puzzles and games are a popular choice among aging people. Reading and socializing can also help flex “brain muscles.”

Mental illness

It is vital to recognize and treat any psychological conditions, such as depression. These disorders can heavily influence the progression of frailty. When properly maintained and treated, mental illness will have less of a negative impact on a person’s physical health.

Nutrition

It’s no surprise that nutrition is an important factor in maintaining muscle mass. Protein is especially influential for muscle health. The best approach is to have a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and protein. Additionally, seniors should consume plenty of water, particularly if they live in warm climates.

Frailty is a serious issue for aging adults. It can cause a person’s health to decline dramatically. So, it is essential that efforts are made to prevent and treat it. Unfortunately, there is no single, perfect solution. Rather, a holistic approach is needed to ensure aged individuals have optimal overall wellness, which can help prevent and treat this syndrome.

 

What Is a CCRC, and How Do I Select the Right One?

memory-care A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is an ideal senior-living option for those planning to “age in place.” A typical CCRC offers several housing choices, as part of a continuum of care. These generally include independent living, assisted living,Skilled nursing (also known as nursing homes),and, sometimes, memory-care units. They can be the most expensive accommodations for aging adults, but they can be worth the cost. Residents have the flexibility to expand and change services as needed, without having to move to a new community. Care is individualized, and therefore it is more precise.

CCRC Services

Most community operators encourage residents to socialize, offering numerous education and entertainment programs. Other basic services may include the following:

  • health care services
  • meal preparation
  • personal care and hygiene
  • housekeeping
  • transportation
  • emergency assistance

3 Common CCRC Contract Types

  1. Extensive – Also called life contracts, extensive contracts are the most expensive because they include health care services and assisted living with no additional fees.
  2. Modified contract – A modified contract is similar to an extensive contract, except health care services are limited. If a resident needs additional services, he or she is charged a separate fee.
  3. Fee per service – This contract is less expensive initially. However, residents are charged for services on an as-needed basis.

Selecting the Right Community

It’s important to note the financial health of any prospective CCRC. These communities are very costly to maintain and tend to cut resident services when they are struggling financially. You want to ensure that this is not going to be a problem for your loved one in the future. An easy way to determine if a community is financially stable is to check residency rates. Such rates should be at or near capacity to maintain financial wellness.

Do some research online as well. Medicare.gov can provide ratings for skilled nursing facilities, as do individual state’s long term care ombudsmen. And there are a number of resources available to help you through the evaluation process.

Compare the costs to the cost for maintaining your loved one in their current home. Costs like transportation, companion care, housekeeping, transportation, meals, and medication assistance when added to mortgage or rent costs can end up being the same or more as a CCRC, so don’t automatically assume a CCRC is out of their budget range. Also consider if the community has an “entrance fee,” a one-time up-front payment and whether that is partially refundable. And don’t be afraid to ask what the annual increase is so that can be factored into your loved one’s budget.

Evaluation Tips

If possible, spend a few days in a community observing and assessing it. Some important factors to consider include the following:

  • The property – Is the facility properly maintained? Check the interior and exterior of the community. Does it feel like home, or does it seem institutional? It should be comfortable and homey so your loved one is at ease.
  • The residents – Speak with the residents. Inquire about their experiences in the community. Are they happy with the services? Do they have issues or complaints? Do they feel as though it is a good value? Most importantly, are these residents the type of people whom you want as friends and neighbors?
  • The staff – Speak with the staff to determine if they are friendly and genuinely caring. Ask to see licenses and credentials. Look at recent inspection reports. Make sure to inquire about any complaint investigations.

Finding the right community for your loved one is crucial to his or her happiness and well-being. Take your time with this endeavor. Above all, trust your instincts. If something feels “wrong” with a community, simply scratch it off your list and move on.

CCRCs offer wonderful senior-living solutions. As always, due diligence is the key to selecting the right services for your aging loved ones.

Preparing for a Loved One’s Golden Years

 Caring for aging loved ones has its challenges. The unexpected will undoubtedly occur. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare. It’s probably impossible to avoid all obstacles, but anything we can do to make circumstances more manageable, is well worth our time. A little planning and preparation truly go a long way. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a loved one’s golden years.

Documents

It is crucial for at least one family member to have access to the aging individual’s important documents. It is very stressful to gather needed records in the middle of a crisis. Having these in advance will save your family from unnecessary anxiety. Commonly required documents include:

  • ID – A photocopy of the person’s photo ID or driver’s license.
  • Certificates – You need certified copies of birth, marriage, and if applicable, spouse’s death certificates.
  • Social security card
  • Medical insurance cards – Medicaid, Medicare, and other health insurance cards.
  • Vehicle titles.
  • Passwords to online accounts.
  • Military records if applicable.
  • Contacts – Significant addresses, phone numbers, and emails.

Advance Directives

Living Will

This legal document is extremely helpful. It defines an individual’s wishes if they become unable to advocate for themselves. It generally refers to end-of-life care and decision-making. Your loved one outlines instructions on how to handle issues like mechanical ventilation, resuscitation, and pain management. It leaves little room for debate, giving families some much-needed relief during an immensely stressful time.

Health Care Power of Attorney

This legal document allows your loved one to choose someone to make decisions on their behalf. Of course, this person should generally understand the wishes of the aged individual. This type of advance directive requires a great deal of trust.

Frequent updates

Some information needs to be revised often. Try setting up a quarterly schedule to record changes.

 

Medication

Having a current list of medications is vital. Furthermore, note any allergies your loved one has to food or medicine. It’s helpful to have copies of medication dosage, filling pharmacy, and the doctor who prescribed it . Don’t forget over-the-counter meds, vitamins, and supplements that the individual takes regularly.

Finances

A person’s financial information is very private, so it’s understandable why your loved one may not want to share much of this data. However, it is tremendously useful to have on hand. This is especially true of expenses. If an individual must spend several weeks in the hospital, someone needs to make sure personal bills are being paid. In more serious situations, assets and investments play a crucial role in providing proper care. You may need to have an in-depth discussion with your loved one to explain how important it is for someone to have access to their finances. Perhaps they can select a trusted family member with whom to share this information. It should include assets, investments, expenses, bills, and bank account details,

We can’t predict the events that will occur as our loved ones age. We can, however, prepare and plan for various potential situations. Put forth a little effort now to prevent your family from experiencing unnecessary strain in the future.