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Answering the Difficult Questions About Aging

By Peter Ganther

(Page 3 of 3)
  • If the person could not care for himself any longer, how would living arrangements change?

  • What is the level of worry concerning the amount of money required for care?

  • Have funeral arrangements been made? What are the wishes for funeral, burial, or cremation?

  • Who can be trusted to make medical or financial decisions if the person were unable to?

These are tough questions to answer. I have friends who have ended up in therapy after trying to answer them, but they need to be asked. Luckily, I had conducted the exercise with my aunt and uncle and executed the necessary documents to ensure their desires and needs would be met.

Individual self worth and dignity are important factors as we age. We need to allow the individual the dignity and privacy we all want through this process. If the individual does not want to discuss the specific issues, honor that. The old saying, ďall things work out in the endĒ really is true. It might not end as you envisioned, but when an individual reaches a crisis state, situations tend to resolve themselves.

One last piece of advice that I hear over and over for older individuals is to live life to the fullest each day, doing what you want now. Their biggest regret is not what they have done, but what they havenít.

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