No one wants to think of the time when they will require help in taking care of themselves. It is not a pleasant idea, especially for people who have enjoyed a lifetime of independence and autonomy. Unfortunately over half of people 65 years of age or older will require some form of long term care.
Many people wait until they or their loved ones require care. At this point, they are pressed for time, without a plan, and potentially not prepared economically for such an undertaking. It is important to plan for one’s later years, even if they don’t like thinking about it. Let us look at some basic things to consider who planning for long term care.
Identify Needs: Certain diseases or illnesses may be manageable earlier on, but quite difficult as one gets older. Cognitive diseases are a good example of this. One should consider what type of care they or their loved ones will require. Once specific needs are identified choosing a long term care solution will be much more simplified.
Long Term Care Insurance: There are many types of insurance programs that exist to help people manage the cost of long term care later in life. This may be a prudent option for those who have a family history of illness or medical issues.
Research Cost Of Long Term Care Services: To be able to plan accordingly one must know how much these services will cost. This is much easier once specific needs are outlined. There are many different types of care, some people will only need help bathing, dressing, and preparing meals, while others, like those with advanced-stage Alzheimers, will require more advanced care.
Speak With A Financial Advisor: There are financial advisors who specialize in helping people plan for long term care. They can help in getting financial matters in place to have the necessary economic resources to finance one’s future care. This process will usually involve taking stock of what savings, properties, or investments that can be used to pay for the services.
Once one understands where they stand financials in regards to their long term care needs it will be easier to plan for the future.
Choosing A Service Provider: Different people will have different needs. Some may find it more convenient to move into a long term care facility while others would prefer to stay in their house and have a caregiver take care of them there. Being familiar with what is offered in one’s geographic area will help in the planning process. Beyond care facilities, many programs exist which connect caregivers directly with those needing their services. An example of this type of service would be Tandem Careplanning, which allows the user to view caregivers based on needs and price.
Determine When It's Time To Get Help: People can plan for long term care, but deciding to implement the plan is often difficult for people. Beyond exploring options one needs to be honest about when it is time to put the plan into action. When medication is being missed, clothes going unwashed, and falls start to occur, it's probably time. Setting a metric or standard in regards to when it is time to get help is important.