Planning Your Long-Term Care Options: Part I

Discussing long-term care with loved ones can bring up some emotional conversations, as it’s difficult to think about a time where you may not be able to make decisions for yourself, your health, and your assets. It’s also natural to worry about how these components will affect your loved ones after your passing.

Planning ahead for long-term care will give you peace of mind when or if you should require advanced care, allowing you to know that the legwork has been completed, so you can invest more time with your family and friends and less time stressing over important details. In this two-part series, we will address some of the common decisions involved in planning for long-term care, such as medical assistance planning, and how an attorney can help protect you, your wishes, and your assets.

Begin with Open Communication

Because long-term care may be in the foreseeable future for most of us, it’s essential to consider the possibility of needing to rely on long-term care and, therefore, have a plan in place for when and if the need arises.

When beginning to plan for long-term care, be sure to discuss details with your loved ones or your immediate support system (i.e. spouse, children, grandchildren, close friends, doctors, etc.), so that you can ensure everyone is on the same page. Talking about potential living arrangements, health care, and handling of assets can help your loved ones understand your wishes and help you achieve them. It’s best to begin these conversations as soon as possible, even if you aren’t currently in need of a long-term-care plan.

Consider Living Arrangement Options

Making a decision about living arrangements can be one of the hardest to make in planning for long-term care, especially if the decision needs to be made quickly. Taking the time to plan options for living will ensure you make an educated, informed decision that’s best for you and your family.

One common living option for individuals is staying at home. This option is often preferred because the space is familiar and homey. When deciding to stay at home, consider whether or not the layout and space could work for you if you become incapacitated and who will assist you in completing tasks like bathing, dressing, cooking, etc. Some individuals may look to loved ones to help with these tasks, while others may need to hire in-home assistance or skilled nurses, depending on the medical situation. While living at home is a viable option for some, it is important to do your research, as it may be best for you and your loved ones to look at other options, especially if it is best for your health and wellness. Some other options available to individuals are assisted living, independent living, hospice, nursing homes, adult day care, etc.

It’s important to consider your medical needs when making living-arrangement decisions, as well. If you have an illness that may progress and/or affect memory or fine-motor functions, you may begin to require the more specialized, skilled care of a medical professional. Be sure to choose accommodations that not only make you feel comfortable but also offer the best options for your current and potential health and medical needs.

In our next post, we’ll discuss the importance of having an experienced attorney there to help preserve and distribute your assets to loved ones, as well as honor your health care wishes. To learn more about how KTF Law Firm can help you with estate planning, medical assistance planning, power of attorney, and more, visit our website!