FINDING HOPE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.  “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”

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HAVE THE TALK  OF A LIFETIME

It’s a new year!  For many people that means life starts over.  It’s a time to try to live better, be more organized, and complete tasks that perhaps were overlooked during the previous year.  As you are making your resolutions and lists of all the things you want to do to make your life better in 2018, have you considered discussing having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones?  What is the Talk of a Lifetime you might be asking.

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SUPPORT GROUPS HELP FAMILIES HEAL WHEN SOMEONE DIES

Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D,   Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.”  The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. With hope the following tips from Dr. Wolfelt will help you as you move toward….

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Funeral/Life Celebration

While no one really likes to plan for death, it is one of those things on the “have to” list. That is, if your goal is to ease the burden on your family. There are literally over 100 decisions that need to be made at the time of a person’s death. Planning in advance is simply a responsible thing to do and one your children will greatly appreciate. Things to consider include whether you will pay for the funeral/life celebration now or through life insurance and specifying what you want done with your remains (burial or cremation) and where you want them placed, as well as how you’d like your life celebrated. Planning all these aspects allows your family more time to grieve their loss at the time of your death.


Activities

Retirement does not have to be the equivalent of sitting in front of the television all these remaining years. It can be if you want, but it can also be filled with a lot of enjoyment with friends and family. It could include traveling, volunteering, reading or quilting, exercising, caring for grandchildren, attending spiritual activities, cooking and so much more. The choice is yours. Enjoy life to its fullest. But also learn about the resources available to you and your family for your retirement. The need for senior resources varies widely depending on how independent or co-dependent an individual is during his or her senior years.


The Lexington community offers a spectrum of services to seniors. In fact, there seems to be more senior services than ever before. Our community is preparing for an increased demand from boomers who have or are about to enter their retirement years along with their parents who are living longer than previous generations. One such resource you may want to consider are Senior Information Fairs. One of these fairs will be held at Milward Funeral Directors, 1509 Trent Boulevard, on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It is hosted by Milward Funeral Directors and The Willows at Hamburg. Guests will have an opportunity to talk to many vendors about financial planning, legal issues, estate planning, funeral pre-planning, senior activities and transportation and senior living communities. It’s essentially a one-stop location for gathering a lot of information. A light lunch will be provided at no charge or obligation. Door prizes will be given away, too. To RSVP, call (859) 272-3414 before Sept. 4.

Whether you’re a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years.


If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congratulations – you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions about the many choices you have available to you.


If you haven’t, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I highly encourage you to start learning about, thinking about and discussing your future retirement with your family so they aren’t left in the dark wondering what Mom or Dad prefers.


Finding a way to start talking with loved ones about retirement and the future is the difficult part. Here are a few topics to start with:


Retirement Age

Just because you can retire at age 65 years doesn’t mean you have to or want to. Many people choose to work beyond retirement not because they need to but simply because their job is their passion. If you enjoy working, you should continue doing so. Perhaps consider cutting back your days so you can pursue other activities you enjoy or always wanted to do. If you are ready to throw in the towel and can afford to do so, by all means retire and enjoy life.

NEVER TOO EARLY TO PLAN FOR RETIREMENT

Finances

If you’re going to retire, you certainly need to know how you will cover your expenses. No matter how old you are, it is a good idea to meet with a professional who can help you get your financial affairs in order.


Legal Affairs

Have you written a will or set up a trust? Do you need to deal with other legal affairs? If not, when you die, your family is likely to spend a lot of time and money in probate court handling your legal and financial affairs. Take time now to finalize your legal affairs. You can always make changes.


Healthcare

Will your children or home health care take care of you in your home or theirs? Is it time to downsize so you can live in your own home longer? If necessary, do you have a specific independent senior living or nursing home where you’d prefer to live? Senior living facilities are popping up all over town. Similar to the drugstore boom, the need for senior living facilities is greater than ever. If you haven’t, now is a great time to schedule a tour so you can find facilities you prefer if you should need to get more personalized care.

KIM WADE

Kim Wade has been marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th-oldest continuously operated family business in the United States which operates three locations in Lexington including its Celebration of Life center at 1509 Trent Boulevard. Kim can be reached at marketing@milwardfuneral.com or 859-252-3411.

more articles by Kim Wade

159 North Broadway  |  859.252.3411

391 Southland Drive  |  859.276.1415

1509 Trent Boulevard  |  859.272.3414

www.milwardfuneral.com