Which statement is more powerful: Plan For The Future or Plan For A Future? I had a major paradigm shift when I thought about what a huge difference one little word makes. Planning for a future is a hundred times more potent because it empowers the individual to take charge of the future. Planning for the future has been my mantra for many years. Preparation avoids crisis and hasty decisions. I’ve met thousands of Elders and their families who are in a panic. The phone calls come daily. “I’m in California and my mom’s in the hospital in Kansas City and they say she can’t go back to her home.” “Mom was taking care of Dad, but now she’s had a crippling stoke. They can’t stay home.” There are universal emergencies and our job is to help people navigate these troubling times. But consider how much better it would be if, when everything is going well, Seniors would investigate all the possible living situations and develop preferences early? If and when help is needed a plan has already been made.
The thought of planning ‘a’ future has deeper meaning of which the former issue is just a small part. Throughout our lives we prepare for the next chapter of life. We are encouraged to map out the future of our dreams; we study, save, invest, and plan. It is my observation that Elders are not encouraged to plan a future. Many just quit setting goals and making preparations for life. Obviously, health and finances can create some obstacles, but there are always opportunities to design a future with purpose and enthusiasm. One of my favorite quotes is, “We don’t quit dreaming because we are old, we become old when we quit dreaming.” It is so important for Seniors to live in an environment where they are inspired to keep on dreaming and planning. We all need continued encouragement to think big! It is the heartbeat of my Just Now Old Enough message!