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Plan Your Endgame and Enjoy Peace Now

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

In the past, gardening has been a fantastic way for me to exercise, and pride in ownership always made the hours in the yard worth the effort. One of our grandparents set a goal to pick 10 dandelions from her lawn each day--Voila! she was crawling in the grass and creating her own physical therapy for movement and stability in her daily transitions from sitting to standing.


Those of you who have visited my neighborhood in the last year know that I live in a retirement community. Never when I've seen the lawn crew come by our home, have I thought, "I wish I were the one mowing." Instead, I've felt sincere thanks for their work and the time freedom that allow me to walk, stretch, or choose water play, a strengthening session or a game of tennis.


CHOICES. I'm grateful that we have so many in our lifestyle and daily living. I sincerely want my independence protected. When I take the time to forecast what I still want to do in 10, 20, and 30... even 50 years from now, I have a map of what I need to be doing TODAY. Muscles used are muscles strengthened.


Our body is completely wired to honor our choices. When our native resources of calcium in our bones or protein in our muscles are not used for movement, our body reassigns these resources to support the choices we are making, even when that means weakening our muscular and skeletal systems that support movement, strength, and stability.


Pain simply states that resources are tapped out and realignment and nourishment are needed before strengthening can continue. I chose osteopathic manual treatments because they continue to prove that my body, as well as my clients', can heal and strengthen as we are freed to move on a muscular, skeletal, and visceral level.


Aging and accidents happen, and in those circumstances, I will still want choices for my greatest responsibility and independence. Planning ahead includes healthy eating and consistent movement. When we are calm and unthreatened the number of choices available to us increase exponentially.

  1. Estate Planning and placing assets in a Trust can reduce the impact of Probate. Learning that Whole Life Insurance Policies can be used, once funded, as personal banking for Long-Term Care costs or the freedom to travel has been a valuable investment across years. See your own financial specialists for more information on these issues.

  2. Health Care Directives--I trust my partner to make wise decisions for me, but there is no way that I want to leave my family after a stressful season of medical interventions in my behalf with bankruptcy-level financial commitments in my posthumous behalf. UtahAging.org has links to navigate decisions for both the Advanced Health Care Directive and POLST--Provider Order of Life Sustaining Treatment. These forms can be printed or filled out online. Filing them in advance with your hospital, physician, and your trusted representative is healthy preparation for times of an emergency. Another tool for these decisions is found at Five Wishes.

  3. Most health care decisions can be simplified with a quick list that you carry with you virtually, or on paper with copies given to spouse and family members--Add your current medications, past surgeries, and history of any diagnoses that you have. In an emergency it can be difficult to access memory at all.

  4. Suze Orman in her book 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying recommends that we make the financial investment for our own Cemetary and Burial costs, prearranging needed details. Again, this allows us to choose, and leaves us free to ENJOY the time that we do have.

  5. It was an interesting exercise recently to write a draft of my own obituary. I was surprised about the experiences and relationships that I did not include--I found it a great way to focus on the investments that I value most now. The process begged the question,

"How do I want my life celebrated?" Then,


What messes do I not want to leave behind?


What messages do I want to ensure are delivered?


Crucial, vulnerable conversations have the capacity to rework relationships and re-engage joy in the journey.


"Why wait?" Carpe' Diem can best be translated, "Savor the Day." We are still breathing. Change is within our grasp.


Quality of life is defined differently for every one of us. In his book Being Mortal, Atul Gawande guides a discussion about the options available in the United States for the aging process. Some of my next steps will be to explore local resources for at-home and full-time care in my area. Knowing and choosing creates a story we are willing to LIVE. This LINK is a one-page summary of questions and mindsets that bridge to answers, especially in the throes of a new diagnosis.


Everyone's comfort zone is different, and the kind of help we want along the way can be hugely contrasting from all the members of our family. Considering our options when we are not at risk and struggling with health issues that limit our lifestyle is easier than when we are tapped out just working to maintain and heal. For this reason, I found the quick writing exercise very helpful.


I want _________________________ but if not, I'm willing to __________________________


Printing or creating a virtual file of all these considerations that you share with trusted advocates leaves little to chance. Being creative and compassionate can free us to live richly. Planning ahead before news that life may change drastically incorporates both of these principles affecting us and our family members for the better. Enjoy your journey. --Rachel


Find resources here to build and protect your own comfort zone through the aging process.
Aging and accidents can take us by surprise, but planning ahead keeps our options open and our choices not only understood, but also deliverable.

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