Finding the right facility is key to long-term happiness and aging with dignity
MIAMI – February 25, 2014 – According to a recent Harris Poll survey conducted among adults 65 and older, women are twice as likely than men to be worried about being moved into a nursing home or assisted living facility when they are no longer able to care for themselves.
“Women are often the caregivers in our society,” said Chief Medical Officer, Brian Kiedrowski, M.D. at Miami Jewish Health Systems, one of the largest healthcare providers for seniors in the southeast. “But the truth is – whether male or female – you need to prepare yourself for successful aging.”
For Dr. Kiedrowski, this means asking seniors what they are doing to maintain their independence, socialization and hobbies. And it also means having a plan in place. While the majority of the 2,000 people surveyed in the Harris Poll last week said they are not worried about where they will live out their golden years, Dr. Kiedrowski thinks they may be in denial:
“We have a society where people don’t want to talk about aging,” he said. “That’s why we have so much trouble with this topic.”
As hard as it may be to broach the subject of aging with loved ones, Dr. Kiedrowski says it is imperative. He recommends scheduling a meeting – much like a business meeting – so that families and friends are aware of loved one’s wishes.
“Ask the tough questions,” he says. “And don’t wait until it’s too late. There’s never a perfect time.”
Dr. Kiedrowski offers the following advice to help seniors plan for the future:
- Communicate your advance directives. Let families and friends know how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself.
- Know where you want to live. It’s hard to make that first visit, but find a way to learn your options before you need them. Consider facilities that offer a continuum of care with medical services that allow you to be cared for right on campus.
- Think about what you are doing to prepare for your aging process. Are you eating right, exercising and visiting your doctor regularly?