The thought of planning for the frailty years – or end of life – is usually met with little enthusiasm and in some cases, fear. Planning for the frailty years, while it may be an uncomfortable process, can be an empowering and positive channel to keep control and independence.
Frailty is a common and important condition characterised by age-associated declines in multiple physiological mechanisms, leading to increased vulnerability to health interruptions such as an infection, introduction of a new drug treatment and places people at higher risk for adverse health outcomes.1
Unfortunately, I see too many senior Australians who are resistant to plan for their frailty years. Most people think they will have good health to the end, which can be true. However, planning for ill health or disability is a good way to ensure you or your parents remain in control.
It is heartbreaking when families are unprepared for the future. It can mean loved ones who fall ill or lose independence are robbed of their choices later in life and end up in situations or places which they don’t want to be in.
Most senior Australians want to remain living at home, independently. Planning to receive services to help make this happen is important. This is the best time to prepare for the frailty years, too.
Things to consider2:
How you expect to fund your aged care costs
What role your home can play
The impact of relying on family and friends for support
Are you willing to ignore the frailty risk?
The role of an aged care navigator is to provide personal assistance in understanding and engaging with aged care services and the aged care system. As an aged care navigator, I empower senior Australians to make choices about what and where they will be in their final years of life.
It does not always have to be a gloomy experience.
Luisa Capezio, CEO and aged care navigator at Independent Care Solutions. At Independent Care Solutions Pty Ltd it is our job to help individuals and families navigate the aged care system to find the best solution for loved ones who need support to stay at home or are ready to take the next step into residential aged care. www.icares.com.au
References: 1: J Am Geriatr Soc 66:2097–2103, 2018. 2. Aged Care Steps, Louise Biti. Image: Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash