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ASK SHELLEY: Preparing For Growing Old

ask shelley

By Shelley Swenson Extension Agent III
UF-IFAS Wakulla County Extension


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2050 the nation’s elderly population will more than double to 88 million, and the more frail, the over 85 year population will quadruple to 19 million.

Older Floridians, their families, and communities face many issues related to aging.

UF/IFAS Specialists realized that individuals and families may need assistance with trying to deal with the many issues. UF/IFAS Specialists have assembled several publications that offer assistance. Copies of them are available on the website Solutions For Your Life or by calling me and I will put together printed copies of the requested materials.

This self-study will allow Wakulla County citizens to better prepare themselves and their families for their future.

The Specialists have developed materials on the following topics: health and medical care, family relationships, economic concerns, caregiving, home modifications, retirement and nutrition and diet. Give me a call or consult the website for the materials.



Another related issue which should never be overlooked is what do you want your family respect in your last years of life. Because this is difficult for so many family members to discuss, Hospice has developed an outstanding publication titled “Five Wishes.”

This excellent publication outlines for family members, doctors and others how you want to be treated if you get seriously ill. It is an easy-to-complete form that lets you say exactly what you want.

Once it is filled out and properly signed it is valid under the laws of Florida. It was written with the help of The America Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and the nation’s leading experts in end-of-life care.

It’s easy to use. All you have to do is check a box, circle a direction or write a few sentences.

Area Hospice chapters have copies of this document and have furnished me copies as well.

Feel free to contact your local Hospice chapters or give me a call and we will arrange to get you one.

After its completion, you should talk to your family members, health care agent and others who care about you. Furnish them a copy. Keep a copy somewhere in your home where someone can find it when you need it.

If you are admitted to a hospital or nursing home, take a copy with you.



At any age, between taxes, investments, budgets and loans, consumers have an enormous amount of information to keep track of.

In fact, since organizing your financial life can be very confusing and can require a considerable amount of time and space.

There are many relevant questions regarding this topic. These include from “what do I keep and for how long?”

Once again, UF/IFAS realized the need for a publication that addressed many of the questions posed when you are trying to organize papers. It is titled “Financial Recordkeeping: Organizing Your Financial Life FCS5205” and can be found here.

I will furnish you a printed copy if you prefer; – simply give me a call at 926-3931.

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