No one wants to think about a time when they might need long-term care, so planning ahead often gets put off. Most people first learn about long-term care when they or a loved one need it, but by then their options are often limited by lack of information, the immediate need for services, and insufficient resources to pay for preferred services. Planning ahead allows you to have more control over your future.
Planning ahead for long-term care is important because there is a good chance you will need some long-term care services if you live beyond the age of 65. According to www.medicare.gov, “This year, about nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need long-term care. By 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. Most will be cared for at home. Family and friends are the sole caregivers for 70 percent of those over 65″.
The cost of long-term care services often exceeds what the average person can pay from income and other resources. By planning ahead, you may be able to save your assets and income for uses other than long-term care, including preserving the quality of life for your spouse or other loved ones. With planning, there is a greater likelihood of being able to leave an estate to your heirs, because you are less likely to use up your financial resources paying for care.
Planning ahead will also lessen emotional and financial stress on you and your family. It can provide a way to involve your family in decisions without depending on them to bear the entire burden alone.
For many people, one of the most important advantages of planning ahead is to ensure greater independence should you need care. Your choices for receiving care outside of a facility and being able to stay at home or receive services in the community for as long as possible are greater if you have planned ahead.
Long term care isn’t scary if you have a plan in place. If you are not sure where to start, contact ElderCare at Home, we can assist with details on where to begin. You can also contact a Care Navigator through the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center; here is where you will find geriatric professionals to be your advocate and help you navigate through your long term care planning, details such as financial, spiritual, emotional needs and provide a realistic assessment of what your needs might be later in life.
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