Home Instead, Inc. has developed Elderoscopy, an educational program with tools to start the conversation between aging parents and loved ones about preparing for their later years. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

The ‘Elderoscopy’ offers tools needed for families to prepare aging parents for their later years

As Canada faces a rapidly aging population, with the 2021 census showing seniors over the age of 85 as one of the fastest growing demographics, now is the time for families to initiate discussions about future care.

“Conversations about preparing for the future can be uncomfortable and even a bit somber but having them is so important,” said Tracie Robertson, owner of the Home Instead office in Courtenay. “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.”

Research from Home Instead, Inc. and True Global Intelligence shows that 25 per cent of Canadians would rather have a colonoscopy than simply talk to their loved ones about end-of-life plans.

While these conversations can be daunting, there is good news coming out of the pandemic. The survey revealed that while 47 per cent of Canadians report that they have not talked with their loved ones about their aging plans, the pandemic has increased the likelihood of having these conversations. Nearly one-third (31 per cent) of all adults report the coronavirus pandemic has made them more likely to talk about end-of-life plans.

“We see these conversations between loved ones happening every day, and rarely does someone say they wish they put it off longer,” said Robertson. “To support families, our local office has resources available to ensure a smooth transition of care – regardless of whether it is needed now or in a few years.”

To assist in navigating this process, Home Instead, Inc. 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. Home Instead care professionals are also available to facilitate uncomfortable talks between families.

An Elderoscopy can help families track their progress in planning for the future. Areas covered in the examination include: where you would like to live out your later years, what lifestyle you desire as you age, how you plan to stay healthy 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 for you and your family.

There are many misconceptions around end-of-life planning, including the belief that it can just wait until tomorrow,” said Tracie Robertson. “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.”

To help plan your own Elderoscopy, families can find resources at www.HomeInstead.ca/Elderoscopy.

Comox ValleySeniors

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