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Transitions in Aging

Retirement Planning II

Planning for End of Life

Photo of a person's hands holding another person's hands

  • Some things to think about:
    • Discuss our plans with the people we trust and legal counsel
    • Write down our wishes
    • Think about who will keep our belongings

NEXT: Planning for End of Life (cont.)

Notes and References

First we should discuss our wishes with the people we trust: our loved ones, friends, neighbors or care staff, and maybe even legal counsel. Also, we should write these wishes down.

End of life is a topic that is unique to everyone; everyone prepares and grieves differently. For example, if we get very sick and our heart stops, what would we like health professionals to do? Do we want the health professionals to do all the available procedures to save us? Or, if our heart stopped, would we like to let it just stop? Other things to think about include financial planning and other arrangements so that our loved ones know our wishes. For example, who we would like to keep our things, our money, and who we would like to take over the guardianship of the people we care for (some of us may not be responsible for others).1 It is good to remember that brothers and sisters can be the longest adult relationships we have. They could provide us with the support that is needed as we age.2 Discussing these things with the people we trust and planning will put our minds at ease as we age into our retirement years.

We should also consider if our loved one passed away, do we want to move to another place? Staying at home can be comfortable, however, we may need proper support to allow us to continually stay at our home. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of aging in place and what strategies we can use to stay at our home as long as we wish, please review another training module, Aging in Place.


  1. Botsford, A. L. (2000). Integrating end of life care into services for people with an intellectual disability. Social Work in Health Care, 31(1), 35-48.
  2. Coyle, C. E., Kramer, J., & Mutchler, J. E. (2014). Aging together: Sibling carers of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 11(4), 302-312.