If you are in your 70’s and are asking this question, it may be too late! The optimal time for planning for care during your senior years is 20 or 30 years earlier. When you consider that 75% of those over 65 will need some type of long-term care, then it is time to pay attention! It may be a confrontative conversation, but it is a necessary part of self-control and self-determination to be in charge of your life throughout your life. It always makes sense to be in the know!
Planning Equals Choices
The planning you do today will dictate the choices you have in the future.
What You Need to Know About Paying for Senior Care
Asking the right questions is the place to start. Also, understand that there are many components to the planning process requiring the expertise of various professions. All the answers do not cohabitate in one spot. Keep that in mind and go to the right place for the answers you seek.
Create an Elder Care Funding and Life Planning Team
Finances and Financial Planning:
The key to elder care planning involves finances first. The cost of senior care rivals planning at any other stage of life. It is critical to understand how to set aside funds, protect yourself from the costs, pay off debts, and utilize strategies to do so. Consider hiring a Certified Financial Planner to discuss your specific situation. Start when you are young enough such as when you marry and have a child so that you have a roadmap throughout your life and nothing is left to chance.
Legal Considerations and Elder Law/Estate Planning:
Having a will, durable power of attorney, and living will. These are the key components to planning your estate. A plan for today probably will not stay the same because life is fluid. It can change with you as your life changes. But, getting it down in writing protects you and your family in many ways. Work with an Elder Law Attorney (NAELA) or an Estate Attorney for the best advice.
Aging Life Care Professional:
If you are interested in learning about the costs involved with elder care, the best place to get this advice is from an Aging Life Care Professional (ALCA). These professionals are experts in the senior care marketplace and aging in general. They have first-hand information about lifestyle options and understand the aging life process and its implications. Aging Life Care Professionals like the experts at Complete Care Strategies also know about governmental assistance and when an individual is a match for which program.
Your Team: Your Life
There is nothing more distressing than watching a family confronted with the burden of senior care and its consequences when they are unprepared. While the later stages of life have unique challenges, those who are prepared can design this part of life optimally with choices of where to live and the support to do so well. You can learn about “What You Need to Know” by looking for those with the knowledge to provide this information. They stand ready to give you the answers!
About the Author
Beverly Bernstein Joie is the founder and president of Complete Care Strategies, a senior care management company serving Philadelphia and its surrounding communities. A Certified Aging Life Care Manager with more than 20 years of experience, Beverly has worked in senior care since 1994, both in assisted living communities and in private practice. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association and was a former president of the Philadelphia Chapter.
Complete Care Strategies consists of care managers, specialized human service professionals, who advocate and direct the care of seniors and others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, its expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Along with its licensed home care division, it can help clients safely remain at home under the watchful eye of skilled professionals. Families are afforded an integrated model of care that, with guidance and advocacy, lead them to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love