By AMANDA FREDRIKSEN
AARP Texas Advocacy Director
If you’re like most women I know, you probably find yourself wearing many hats–from balancing your work and family life, to caring for younger and older loved ones, to trying to find time in your already packed schedule to make it to the gym.
The holidays tend to rush by in a blur. In the midst of cooking, decorating and finding that perfect last minute gift on top of your usual day-to-day obligations, it can start to feel as if there really isn’t enough time in the day. And while women are known for their multitasking skills, planning for our futures seems to wind up on the backburner time and time again.
Now the glitz and glamour of the holiday season is winding down. Folks are beginning to look forward and reflect on goals for the upcoming year. Why not take a moment to focus on you?
Thanks to both scientific improvements and efforts to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into our lifestyles, many of us are enjoying longer lives. We continue to outlive men by almost five years, and we make up two-thirds of Americans age 85 and older. Most of us want to stay independent and in our homes as we age, so planning for our futures and for long-term care is crucial.
Long-term care encompasses a variety of services and support options that allow us to live safely and comfortably if we become sick or suffer from a disability that prevents us from caring for ourselves. It usually includes assistance with daily tasks like preparing meals and getting dressed.
The prospect of planning for long-term care can be daunting, but by taking just a little time now to learn about your options, you might save yourself and your family a lot of worry later on. By asking these questions today, you can reach the future you envision tomorrow:
• What sort of future do I want for myself? From decisions about your heath and home to legal and financial issues, it’s important to know what you want down the road.
• How can I achieve this future? Creating a plan to achieve your goals is crucial to achieving them.
• Who needs to know about my desires and my plan? Sharing this information with loved ones is an important final step.
This may seem daunting at first but, once you get the ball rolling, it’s actually very empowering. Plus, AARP is here to help. Get the latest resources to plan for your future at www.aarp.org/decide.
This new year, isn’t it time to start thinking about you?