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Transitions in Aging

Retirement Planning I

Personal Care

Photo of person receiving assistance while dressing

NEXT: Healthcare Plans

Notes and References

Okay, we have discussed our money and our living arrangements. Now let's talk about some more personal things.

We all need help sometimes. So, who do we call when we need help? If our needs change and we require more support, who can help us on a day-to-day basis? Finally, who do we share private information, secrets, or feelings with? It is important for us to know who these people are and to have their contact information handy. We can, for instance, put their contact information (name, phone number, address) on our refrigerator or somewhere we will remember it so that we can contact them if needed. It is also important for these people to know what they mean to us. So be sure to discuss how to best reach them and in what type of situations we should contact them.

There are some daily activities that are important to our lives, such as dressing, eating, and bathing. Even though we may not have issues performing these activities now, we may need more support with these daily activities in the future. Therefore, we should be thinking about what we would like if we need help at some point in our retirement years. Who would we like to help us? If we are going to hire a care assistant to help us with these daily activities, what qualities or type of people would we work well with?

Don't forget to consider transportation - how we get to and from the places we need to go. If our abilities change, are there other transportation options, such as public transportation, that allow us to get to the places we need to be? Discuss the different transportation options with family, friends, and support staff. Maybe even practice using these kinds of transportation a few times so you will feel more comfortable about using these transportation methods in the future.

Finally, each one of us is unique. There may be some routines that are important for us and that we wouldn't want to change. Therefore, it is important for us to make a list of our personal care needs, such as food we like and don't like, activities we like to do and don't like to do, TV programs we like to watch, music we like to listen to, and our other daily routines. That way, if we are going to work with new support staff, they will know how to support us in the ways we like.