Baby boomers make up about 25 percent of the population in the United States. The oldest baby boomers will hit their 70's this year, and according to Ronan Factora, M.D., a geriatrician at Cleveland Clinic, people in this age group will greatly benefit from making important decisions related to finances and healthcare plans.
The reason? Later on in life things like memory-loss, or the risk of developing dementia, could impact how these decisions are made. According to The National Adult Protective Services Association, one in nine seniors report being the victim of financial abuse. Unfortunately, cognitive impairment is one of the factors that make the elderly more vulnerable.
"Make sure that your finances are arranged," suggested Factora. "Be sure that you're protected, we already know, based on other studies, that people who have memory complaints are more likely to get financially exploited."
It's important to develop a healthcare plan which includes everything from arranging power of attorney, to deciding the type of environment you want to live in.
"Are you going to move in with family? Are you going to move to another facility? The important thing is to decide where you would prefer to go and it's better to be involved in those decisions while your cognition is still intact," said Factora.
The geriatrician adds that it's a much healthier process if you can be the decision maker, rather than ending up in a situation that doesn't satisfy your needs.