October is Long-term Care Planning Month! It’s never too soon to put a plan in place for long-term care. Whether you are thinking long-term for yourself or your loved ones, long-term care planning is best done well in advance of when you will need long-term care.
Long-term care can include a variety of services and support seniors might need to meet their personal care needs. Some may think of this as medical care alone. But in reality, long-term care is more about the assistance that older adults will need with everyday life tasks.
Long-Term Care Considerations
The following tips can help guide the long-term care planning process for you and your loved ones:
Your Home and Community – Think about where you will live in this stage of life. Will it be possible to stay in your own home or will you need to look into assisted living facilities? Consider the design, technology, and other features you enjoy in your home. What community features are important to you and what services will you be looking for in an assisted living community?
Your Health – Always make an effort to maintain optimal health. It’s easy to imagine that you have a long time to go before you will need to consider a healthier lifestyle, but everything you do now will affect your future health and the type of assistance you will need on a daily basis. What medications are you currently taking? What medications might you need in the future? Check into the medical care and caregiver ratios in any home you are considering for long-term care.
Your Finances – Assisted living care is not free, but can be more affordable if you plan ahead for the finances needed for your long-term care. Determine the costs associated with your preferred location and create a plan for covering those costs. Some options for helping you with the cost include long-term care insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, personal savings, private insurance, home equity/reverse mortgage, and annuities. Consult a financial professional to help you determine which options are accessible and affordable for you and your loved ones.
Your Intentions and Wishes – Create a living will and appoint someone to make health decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. Make sure you or someone you trust are in charge of your health care decisions.
Your Voice—Be Your Own Advocate – Know what you want and keep track of all available options and scenarios that seem fit for you. Speak up for yourself and take action when you the time is right.
The Time for Long-term Care Planning is Now
Long-term Care Planning is a critical process for you and your loved ones. The benefits cannot be overstated. The good news is you can reduce the stress immensely if you begin planning as early as you can. Unlimited Care Cottages understands the importance of long-term care planning and can help you in your search for the right place to call home in the later stages of life. Contact Us for more information on how to best prepare for long-term care and find out if personal care cottages are right for you.