As you or a loved one ages, it is important to plan ahead for long term care. A well laid out plan will go along way. You want to ensure that your loved one’s plans are followed and they are financially set for their future as well as in the even of an emergency.
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Financial Steps for Long Term Care Planning
The first step will be sitting down with your loved one and gathering the facts about their finances. You will also want to figure out what resources are available in your loved ones area. For more information on finding available resources, click HERE.
Try using the AARP Checklist for Financial Plans and Final Wishes to help you get organized. And be sure to consider the following:
- What money is coming in? Retirement funds, Pension, etc…
- Make sure you are saving enough! Typically, you would want to save 15-20% if at all possible.
- What money is going out? bills, rent or mortgage, insurance, etc…
- Have all finances reviewed by a professional
- Diversify investments
- Figure out local resources and what your loved one may qualify for
Consulting with a wealth adviser can aid you in identifying where your loses are and ways to optimize your finances. Consultations are usually free. They will comb through and look at everything for you ad help you get organized.
What type of Long term Care is best?
We so often hear “I promised mom or dad that I would never put him or her in a nursing home”. If this is you, we understand and respect that promise. However there may come a time that you are unsure if this is the best thing for them.
Sometimes placement is the safest option for an elderly adult. Also the perception of “nursing home” that your loved one had in mind not what the reality is. There are a number of choices of senior communities today that are nothing like “nursing homes” of the past.
What needs to be considered when deciding if living at home with in home care is a feasible option for your loved one, consider the following factors:
Factors to Consider
Physical: Is the physical living condition safe? Ideally the home where the elderly person wants to remain should be set up for one floor living, with access to a full bathroom that either is or can be modified for accessibility. Specialized equipment such as hand rails, grab bars and raised toilet seats can be installed to make things safer, and life alert or a similar system should be used for emergencies. Click here to see our Top ten best products for aging in place.
Medical: Is the client mentally sound? Are they able to participate in their own care? If they have medical needs that require a skilled eye around the clock, placement will most likely be the best option for them. Also consider if they have any condition that will cause their needs to increase dramatically in time?
Financial: Pricing can vary greatly when it comes to both home care and community living. First research must be done into what the resources are in the community where your loved one lives, and the associated costs. Work closely with your loved one’s Estate attorney, financial planner and banker. they will help you come up with a sustainable plan either in the home or a community.
Social: One of the most important factors is social and it is infrequently considered by the senior themselves. If the aging adult is living alone they are at risk for social isolation and depression. Choosing to have your loved one in a community can decrease this risk but not entirely eliminate it. As many seniors in communities are social withdrawn as well. Implementing a support system to ensure family and friends visit and encourage the senior to get out and enjoy activities they love is a great strategy.
If you and your loved one’s care team do decide that placement in a senior community is best, it doesn’t have to be a permanent solution. Sometimes placement in a senior community can be a temporary solution in a traumatic situation (such as debilitating illness or injury) to allow to additional planning to be made for the client to return home safely. Choosing a community with excellent state survey scores and high resident/family satisfaction ratings will help ensure that your loved one has a positive experience. If you decide that keeping your loved one at home is best, it is important to truly partner with a homecare agency that will listen to what your loved one’s needs are, match them with appropriate and