Creating a long-term care plan is a crucial part of reaching older age. However, many people do not know how to approach this task, or do not know they should do it at all.
Long-term care refers to the non-medical services and care many people require to meet their personal needs in their daily lives. Long-term care services can include tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing, walking and driving, to name a few. Some people may need long-term care for just a few months, some may need it for a lifetime, and some may never need it at all. But, it is always smart to be ready for any emergencies, injuries and illnesses that may occur in older age.
The best time to plan long-term care is well before you need it.
The recommended age range to begin planning long-term care is between 40-50 years old, but it is never too early to start. Here are 5 reasons why you should plan long-term care in advance:
1. You will have the chance to research and learn about the long-term care options available in your community.
Deciding on living arrangements for your later years can be overwhelming, especially in the wake of an emergency. Start thinking of your housing priorities now. Look into all the options available in your community, including in-home care, retirement communities, assisted living communities, and nursing homes. Take time to research each option in depth and decide if it is right for you.
2. You can make financial decisions and create a savings plan with the cost of long-term care in mind.
The cost of long-term care services adds up quickly. And, in most cases, Medicare does not cover long-term care. Because of this, it is important to plan in advance how you will cover these costs. Many seniors enlist a financial planner, insurance agent or estate-planning attorney to help them decide what method will work best for their situation.
3. You could increase your chances of qualifying for long-term care insurance.
Long-term care insurance is one method you can use to pay for these services if you can get it early enough. Depending on the policy, this insurance can cover in-home care, home modifications, care coordination services, adult day programs, assisted living and nursing home care. You are more likely to qualify for long-term care insurance when you are younger and in good health, rather than when you are older or have health concerns. For free guidance on this insurance process, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance program.
4. You will have time to get your legal documents in order.
Do you know how you want your affairs handled in your older age? Communicating these wishes is important, especially so your friends and family do not have to guess your intentions. One way to share your wishes is by preparing a living will, a healthcare power of attorney, a financial power of attorney, and a letter of instruction. These documents can help your loved ones make legal decisions based on your wishes in case of an emergency.
5. You can decide now how you will spend your later years of life.
Making preparations in advance means you are taking charge of your future health, housing, and finances. Being prepared enables you to guide the decisions that will affect you and your overall quality of life down the road.
Being prepared is always best in case of sudden emergencies, illnesses or injuries. Spend some time talking with your family, friends, lawyers and care professionals to create a long-term care plan that works for you.
If you need support in any of these areas, Florida Senior Consulting can help. Call us at 941-661-6196. Our qualified team and extensive network of professionals can help you make a plan today.