Checklist for Aging

Ask the Experts by Dana Constand and Carolyn Van Dorn

Q: My husband and I are getting older. We realize that there are healthcare, financial and lifestyle plans that we should put in place now as a protective measure for our future. Where do we start?

A: There are many things to consider as we age. Will you stay in our home or do we want to downsize? Who will make healthcare decisions if you are both unable? Who will manage your money? How will your bills be paid? What happens when one of you is gone— perhaps one spouse handled the finances and the other cooked, one handled car maintenance, the other plumbing snafus, etc. Will you be able to take care of the things your spouse/partner handled? Who will show you? It is best to think about what you may need and put plans in place while you are healthy and have the time to carefully consider your options for these important life decisions. 

There are legal solutions to address healthcare and financial decision making.

A Patient Advocate Designation is legal document used to appoint a person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make the decisions yourself. This type of document can address specific circumstances, such as how you want your medical treatment to be handled in case of dementia or Alzheimer’s and your wishes regarding the extent of life-sustaining interventions at certain stages of age and health.

A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances is a legal document created to appoint an Agent to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to handle your finances. In this document, you choose about what powers your agent will have and when that power comes into effect. Having these documents will allow your life to run smoothly when you are not available to do your usual everyday tasks.

Dana Constand, PLLC, is an attorney with Family Focus Law in Grosse Pointe Farms and can be reached at or at 313.878.5252. Carolyn Van Dorn is the director of client and employee relations at Nursing Unlimited in Grosse Pointe Woods. Contact Carolyn at 313.642.1122 or Nursing Unlimited is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals.

Checklist for Aging
February 27, 2019
The Helm at the Boll Life Center, 158 Ridge Road, Grosse Pointe Farms
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Enriched Communities Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

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