Halloween Can Still Be Scary for Seniors

Caring Transitions expert Nan Hayes offers steps to begin critical senior planning

Oct 25, 2013, 13:55 ET from Caring Transitions

CINCINNATI, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Most Baby Boomers have long outgrown the fear of ghouls and goblins this time of year. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything to be afraid of this Halloween season. According to a Pew survey, as many as 30 percent of Americans age 65 and older don't have a will in place to handle distribution of assets after death. Additionally, 35 percent of Boomers haven't discussed how their families will handle medical care, should they become incapable of making their own decisions.

End-of-life planning may seem scary, but leaving our loved ones without a plan can haunt them for years. According to Nan Hayes, Certified Senior Advisor for Caring Transitions, "Many Baby Boomers haven't even talked about end-of-life planning with their children. It's not a pleasant subject, but the alternative—the risk of family squabbles over property, arguments over medical care issues, the possibility of years spent in probate court—far outweigh the temporary discomfort of talking end-of-life transitions with your children."

To make it easier, Hayes has identified numerous resources to help families start the process of planning. Those without a computer or internet access can call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116.

Housing Choices: Free referral services are available online through comprehensive directories such as RetirementHomes.com. Or, contact a hands-on expert at your local Assisted Transitions office. 

Financial Planning
While not specific to senior adults, the Certified Financial Professional (CFP) designation is awarded to individuals who meet the CFP Board's experience and exam requirement for financial planning, risk management, insurance planning and more. 

Home Care
Finding qualified in-home care is often a matter of referral by medical professional, friends or family. Many websites offer free search options, such as Care.com and HomeHelpers.cc.

Home Sale & Moving
The National Association of Realtors developed the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) Program in 2006. Realtors who carry the SRES® designation have been trained to understand the needs of senior clients including housing options, financing and issues facing a later life move. The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) launched their Pro Mover program in 2009 to help the consumer identify reputable, professional movers.

Legal Matters
Resources on elder law may be found at the government's National Legal resource center. The National Association for Elder Law Attorneys maintains a list of CELA (Certified Elder Law Attorneys) and experienced attorneys who specifically serve senior clients and their families.

Downsizing & Decluttering
Caring Transitions® is the only national network of certified home transition and estate sale professionals. The Certified Transition Specialist (CRTS®) designation is awarded to those who specialize in downsizing and managing transitions for older adults, including local and long distance relocation to Senior Living Communities.

SOURCE Caring Transitions