Elderoscopy – End of Life Planning

Author

Home Instead Senior Care

Posted on

Mar 14, 2023

Book/Edition

Colorado - Colorado Springs

Many people, especially those 65 and older, postponed routine doctor appointments during the pandemic.  As older adults are reconnecting with their communities, including addressing those overdue medical check-ups, aging experts are encouraging they add another “probing” exam to their to-do list: the Elderoscopy.  Rather than a physical examination, this is a discussion.  An Elderoscopy is a critical conversation between older adults and their loved ones, examining wants and needs, and setting intentions for topics such as end-of-life plans, finances, relationships and more. Unfortunately, for some, making these tough decisions and documenting wishes can be just as uncomfortable as a medical procedure. According to the Marist College Poll, 1 in 6 Americans would rather have a colonoscopy than simply talk to their loved ones about end-of-life plans.

 

Conversations about preparing for the future can be uncomfortable and even a bit somber but having them is so important. Being informed of loved ones’ wishes helps families feel prepared and provides them with comfort in knowing they can carry out requests. Family members should keep an open mind. To help initiate the conversation, they can consider conversation starters or even express their own personal wishes to help break the ice.

To assist in navigating the process, a national home care agency has developed Elderoscopy, an educational program with tools to start the conversation between aging parents and loved ones about preparing for their later years. While an Elderoscopy is not an official medical procedure, it is an important step for older adults and their loved ones. Resources include conversation starters and guides.

Areas covered in this examination include where you would like to live out your later years, what lifestyle you desire as you age, what to do if you find yourself single, what to do if you can no longer drive and what you want your final years to look like.

There are many misconceptions around end-of-life planning, including the belief that it can just wait until tomorrow.  While it can be easy to justify procrastination, developing a plan for aging sooner rather than later will allow older adults to better enjoy their later years.

 

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Michelle Earnest.

Michelle is the Director of Home Care at Home Instead. She can be reached at 719-534-0908 or by email at michelle.earnest@homeinstead.com

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