Oftentimes, the fall season finds us in preparation for the holidays. From choosing the biggest pumpkin to setting goals for the upcoming year, fall is a time for getting things in order. This time of year should also serve as a time for preparing your future, a future that includes long-term care planning. Unfortunately, many adults don’t want to imagine a time that would find them in need of long-term care, for themselves or for their loved ones. This leads to long-term care planning being put on the proverbial shelf — sometimes until it’s too late to prepare anything correctly.
In addition to the emotional ties that are attached to thinking about life after 65, there are are several reasons most people fail to give long-term care planning its much-deserved attention. Some adults first learn about long-term care needs only after their loved one’s need is significant. Our parents, for example, don’t want to be in need; they want to still be the ones we’d call on for help. So, they are not likely to tell anyone about their long-term care desires, if they have any. Postponing long-term care preparation, however, can cost you big! With limited options for long-term care, coupled with rising medical and housing costs, it’s imperative that you take a moment today to learn what’s involved in long-term care planning:
Identify how you or your loved one will be cared for
For financial reasons, most Americans will need to plan for long-term care sooner than later. According to the Association of LTC planning, in 2018 a private room in a nursing facility cost $100,379, annually, on average. That same year it was estimated that the annual cost of a semi-private room is $88,348. Additionally, if there are medical needs, you’ll need to take this into consideration as well. Therefore it is time to think about how you or your loved one will receive long-term care, and how the costs of such care will be covered. For starters, there are various LTC facilities to consider, besides nursing homes. Options such as home care, adult day care, assisted living, continuing care retirement community (CCRC) and hospice care are very common alternatives to traditional, and often unnecessary nursing home care. Be sure to weigh all your options in order to make the best decision for your future welfare or that of your loved ones.
Create a legal planning strategy (in writing!)
Once there is an understanding of which facility is best for you or your loved one, you’ll need to know the legalities involved in long-term care planning. Our office (or an attorney in your state) is able to assist with a written agreement to identify how long-term care matters should be handled, according to the wishes of those in need of care. For example, is a nursing home acceptable to you, if necessary? Also, who will take charge of any properties or other business matters? Experienced elder law attorneys, like the attorneys in our office, have the answers that can help you choose the best options based on your particular situation.
Secure resources to support long-term needs
How to cope with failing health and the ability to function on your own are equally important when it comes to long-term care planning. You or your loved one must look into securing resources now in order to know what is affordable in the latter stages of life. Medicare and Medicaid, for example, are options for many indigent Americans and/or Americans over 65. Then there’s long-term care insurance, which covers costs that might not be covered by Medicare or Medicaid. In order to know the right resources for you or your loved ones, feel free to contact us or an attorney in your state. We can help you decipher the different options and, with laws changing each year, our attorneys can keep you abreast of any legal updates that might have an effect on your planning needs.
With long-term care planning, the options may seem limited due to lack of information, in addition to an immediate need for services. With insufficient resources to pay for necessary services such as doctor visits and living expenses, long-term care planning could become a stressful task without the right assistance. Our office helps with long-term care planning, ahead of time, to allow you to have more control over your future. Give us a call today so that we can begin helping you navigate the long-term care process. It’s why we are here!