Planning for the unexpected requires more preparation than making a will and assigning healthcare proxies or powers of attorney. All of that work is essential, but it is only half of the planning. What if you fell and had to be hospitalized today? Would you have an idea where you would want to go for rehabilitation? Would you know your options? What is the difference between subacute and acute rehabilitation? Are there rehabilitation centers in your area that you would prefer to go to if necessary? Could you go home instead?

There is a magnificent web site designed by researchers and clinicians associated with Northwestern University: planyourlifespan.org. This site presents older adults with essential information on a variety of aging-related topics and asks one to make selections based on that information – all in a format to be shared with loved-ones.  That essential information includes explanations about rehabilitation following hospitalization, preventing falls, memory loss, and managing finances.

Each section provides resources for information and then has the participant make selections based on their wishes for certain scenarios (example: If I have to go to a Nursing Home for rehabilitation, I would prefer to go to… ). In the case of nursing homes (subacute rehabilitation) the site provides a link to the Medicare “Nursing Home Compare” rating site.

Visit planyourlifespan.org and create an account to begin looking through the information. If you wish, you can make selections and save your work to eventually complete a plan to leave with your other important documents — and to share with those who might care for you should such a time come.

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