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Do Colorado residents need long-term care plans?

Nobody likes to dwell on their own mortality or impending physical or mental decline, but many Denver residents are relieved after securing long-term care for their future.

In a single year, nearly 10 million Americans required long-term care. While 63 percent were older than 65, an alarming 37 percent were younger, indicating that it can never be too soon to prepare for one's future care necessities. Long-term care is much more than an insurance policy, although insurance is one component of a larger strategic plan of supportive living arrangements, financial provisions and other services.

Today's population is living longer, due to medical advances and people taking better care of themselves. But approximately 70 percent of today's senior citizens will one day need some type of long-term care services.

Because women on average outlive their male counterparts, they are more likely to find themselves living alone in their final decade. Planning ahead makes sense and leaves far less up to chance or the whims of relatives or even courts.

Those suffering from disabilities and chronic illnesses may worry about burdening family members as age increases their frailties. While eating nutritionally and following a regular exercise routine can sometimes stave off the need for supported or assisted living for a few years, heredity and family history can up one's chances of needing care at a future point.

Planning ahead doesn't have to be a depressing decision. Instead, it indicates forethought and consideration for family and loved ones to consult with an estate planning professional and discover the options available through long-term care planning.

Source: longtermcare.gov, "The Basics" accessed Mar. 13, 2015

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