Talking about money can be awkward. Talking about taxes can be boring. And talking about death is a big no-no in most families. When we have an aging parent in mind, however, all three subjects are critically important to discuss and we should have this conversation sooner rather than later.
On top of these considerations, discussing long-term care is another important topic. Research tells us that most aging seniors will need long-term care services at some point. Additionally, the long-term care required could end up lasting for years on end. Getting a firm grasp on your aging parents’ financial resources, making sure the right legal documents are in place, and ensuring their end-of-life and estate plans are prepared according to their wishes will set them up to succeed as they enter the long-term care phase of life.
More research here from LongTermCare.gov
Let us share a few of the key considerations we share with our clients, friends, advisors, and family when it comes to planning for the long-term care needs of an aging parent.
1. Plan Early.
It’s never too early to help an aging parent plan for their long-term needs. Planning ahead will help you and your elder parent identify available options and make the best decisions for their specific situation. If you suspect your parent is showing signs of memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it’s even more important to begin planning. Remember, if your parent does not have capacity in Florida, he or she cannot engage in legal planning.
2. Housing Options.
Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health and personal care needs. A major consideration is to decide where the best place is for your aging parent to receive such services. Will he or she stay in their home? Will a nursing home better suit their needs? Will they need around-the-clock care? Can they move in with you? These are all questions to consider. It’s important to talk about what your aging parent wants to do, and then balance it with their health status and costs of care. There are a number of options available, perhaps more than you realize, consider purchasing long-term care insurance to help shoulder some of the financial concerns.
3. Long-Term Care Planning.
One of the best ways to prepare for an aging parent’s elder years is to create a plan for the future. Working with your elder law attorney can help you develop a roadmap that covers your parents’ wants both now and well into the future. With this type of planning you can create specific instructions to help fund long-term care needs, discuss who will be in charge, and designate a decision maker through estate planning documents to step in on behalf of your elder parent should he or she become incapable of managing his or her own affairs.
Does this article raise more questions that it answers for you? We know how challenging it can be for you and your parents to get the answers you need. We encourage you not to wait to ask us your questions and let us help you move forward.