You’re likely here because you have a family member or loved one who needs, or perhaps already has, some form of long-term care. If your loved one has recently transitioned into life with an in-home caretaker or at a facility, the planning and budgeting necessary for their senior care and well-being is likely still fresh in your mind.
While the need for long-term care is not necessarily guaranteed, a sudden illness, injury, or simply aging can change your needs quite suddenly. Most individuals are entirely unprepared for their loved ones’ long-term care needs. You have so much invested in the care of your loved one, you’ve likely experienced firsthand the stress of long-term care. What happens when someone needs to care for you?
Because you’ve seen the cost and planning involved, wouldn’t you hope to ease that burden for your own children or dependents? Take these four steps now, to better prepare for the day you may need long-term care.
1. Educate Yourself
Though the thought of long-term senior care may raise concern, or even anxiety, there are a wide range of options available, each tailored to a specific type of individual. For example, skilled nursing and rehab centers offer round-the-clock care and often cater to seniors and other individuals who require greater assistance, or those living with advanced stage Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease, for instance. On the other end of the spectrum, adult day care caters to active seniors who want to get out and socialize, but don’t necessarily need specialized attention.
Landing in the middle are assisted living facilities, which aim to foster continued independence, and in-home services, where seniors receive care in their own homes. For many, staying in the home, with their own familiar surroundings, is ideal. This option also tends to offer the most flexibility, as caregivers can provide a full day of care or just a few hours, depending on individual needs.
The cost of care can vary greatly,
depending on the area where you live and the services required, and many people often underestimate the cost, or hold the common misconception that Medicare will cover it. This is often not the case, as only some are eligible, and it likely will not cover the care in its entirety.
Consider where the funds will come from. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you may consider long-term care insurance or personal savings. Consider discussing with an insurance agent or financial planner to get an idea of what you should budget.
3. Make a Plan and Communicate It
Once you’ve done the logistical and financial research, consider what care option is most attractive to you, or would be the best fit for your lifestyle. Be sure to communicate your wishes with your loved ones, so they are prepared if and when the time comes. You may also consider an advance directive, which is a sort of living will, and is intended to guide the decision-making process based on the individual’s wishes.
4. Determine Timing
Consider when would be the best time for you to consider beginning long-term care. What will that look like? Long-term care can feel overwhelming, but having a firm plan in place, and communicating that with your loved ones, will help alleviate feelings of overwhelm and ease the transition.
Whether planning for the distant future or just around the corner, 1776 Senior Care can answer questions and help you determine your ideal long-term care scenario. Call 1776 Senior Care at 630.469.4515 to schedule an in-home assessment and discuss what will work best for you and your family.