Lisa Conway – FLORIDA TODAY
Q: What kind of checkups should I get in spring?
A: The sun shines longer, trees get new leaves, flowers bloom. It’s springtime! It’s also a great time to examine, reinforce or reset the various elements that comprise our personal well-being. These can be aspects of our physical, mental and (yes) our financial health.
Spring cleaning brings to mind the annual closet purge, weeding of garden beds and overall tending to the items and spaces around us. Often overlooked is care for ourselves and others. This year, think of spring cleaning differently. Think about your physical and mental health, and your financial security.
Physical and Mental Health
A well-rounded approach to physical and mental health includes adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and drinking plenty of water to maintain hydration (especially here in Florida). Consider increasing your exercise time, with physical activities like walking, swimming and stretching routines. Are you seeing your primary care provider and/or medical care specialists on a regular basis? If not, then it is important to undergo an annual physical exam (including blood testing), to be aware of and monitor your physical health. Your mental well-being is also vital for a healthy, happy life and should be given equal priority with your physical health. The need for care can make itself known through anxiety, depression, and physical manifestations. Primary care providers and trained counselors are excellent resources to help address mental health concerns.
Financial Health & Estate Planning
Spring is also a great time to take stock of your financial security. Jim DeLaura of Raymond James Financial notes that, while many people have planned for retirement, they may not have planned for longevity. Financial security no longer means “enough to retire,” but has become a question of planning for a life that may extend into our 80s, 90s, and beyond. Jim Delaura likes to say, “Now is the time to plan for a future beyond retirement.”
Attorney Roger Klaffka from the Estate Planning and Elder Law Center of Brevard has spring cleaning tips of his own. “It is incredibly important to have Advance Directives that meet current law and adequately name your primary and backup agents regarding who can make financial and health care decisions on your behalf.” Consider a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate Declaration, a Living Will and a Pre-need Guardianship Declaration.
It’s spring. Find events focusing on your physical, mental and financial health at OneSeniorPlace.com or by calling 321-751-6771.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging.
Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera.