As your parents continue to age, it is critical to have a conversation with them to discuss their wishes for long term care, and to discuss what plans they may already have in place. Many Americans have to scramble to figure out proper care for their loved ones when it is needed most. Creating a plan with your loved ones can help ensure that their needs and desires can be met; or at least addressed. Having this conversation can also help you and your family fund the costs associated with long-term care.
Have the Conversation in an Appropriate Setting
Discussing long-term care can be a touchy subject for some people. Most people do not want to think of themselves as unable to care for themselves. It can be frightening to surrender the freedom of living at home to receive care in a nursing home, for example. Be sure to sit with them in a comfortable, private place where they feel safe.
Key Needs of a Long-Term Care Plan
It is important to understand the goals of discussing a long term care plan, and why one is necessary. There is a high chance that if your loved one is over the age of 70, they will need some sort of care plan. The first thing that you and your loved ones should consider is the type of care that your loved one may need. While you may not be able to fully predict their medical situation down the road, there are a few aspects to consider.
If your loved one has suffered a recent fall, living at home may not be a great option, without a full-time aide. If there is a history of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in the family, you may want to consider the possibility that dementia care may be needed. Depending on your loved one’s existing medical conditions, as well as those that may develop, you need to plan for their future accordingly.
Costs of Long-Term Care
Depending on your loved one’s needs, desires, and budget; long-term care can be costly. On average, both women and men can spend several years in a nursing home facility. Costs of in-home aides and nursing homes alike can vary state-to-state; so it might not be a bad idea to “shop around” for one that fits your loved one’s needs and budgets. Some pension plans account for long term care. Long-term care insurance can also provide your loved one with an avenue of payment. Medicare and/or Medicaid may offer payment options for care facilities or in-home care. Your loved one’s estate planning attorney can help them establish a plan to prepare for these costs. On average, nursing homes or assisted living can cost more than living at home and hiring full-time help.
In-Home or Facility Care
It is important to weigh your options when it comes to long-term care. Discuss with them a variety of options, including in-home options such as hiring a home health aide. While nursing homes or assisted living facilities can provide round the clock care, your loved one can a lot of their independence and estate to be there. In-home care is a great option for families who want to help their loved one maintain their independence.
Don’t Hesitate to Talk
Many families put off having this talk until it is too late. It can be uncomfortable, but discussing long term care plans with your loved one can allow them to express their wishes. If you have multiple siblings, they should each have a part in the conversation. Long term care for elderly parents is an important family issue that involves all. The longer you hold off this conversation, the less time you will have to plan before they truly need it.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information, contact Safe Harbor by clicking here, or call us at (718)-979-6900.