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3 issues to consider during long-term care planning

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Long-Term Care Planning |

Most people planning for retirement imagine the best-case scenario. They think about travel and spending time with their grandchildren, not the various medical issues that come with advanced age.

Unfortunately, the longer someone lives, the greater their risk of experiencing major medical challenges. Many older adults eventually require long-term care because of their health. Those who create plans for future long-term medical needs before their health declines can feel confident during their retirement years.

Long-term care planning can be as important as estate planning is for the protection of those close to or past the age of retirement. What do people need to consider when planning for the possibility of long-term care?

Where do they plan to live?

Living arrangements are a top priority for those in need of long-term care. Many older adults prefer to age in place whenever possible. They try to stay in their homes for as long as possible. They may seek out in-home nursing care and skilled support services that allow them to remain independent. Others might plan to eventually move in with their children or with other family members. In some cases, planning to cover nursing home costs is an important part of long-term care planning if someone may need to move to a nursing home later in life.

Who can offer them support?

Older adults with spouses of a similar age may need more support than their partners can provide. They may turn to children, community members or professionals for assistance later in life. Any kind of professional support is likely to come with a significant price tag. Older adults may need to prepare for the possibility that they must apply for Medicaid in addition to Medicare to cover long-term care costs if they don’t have someone to provide them with intensive support.

What happens if they can’t speak on their own behalf?

Medical issues associated with age can affect someone’s consciousness, communication abilities or overall mental capacity. Someone incapable of communicating or struggling with declining cognitive function could lose their legal ability to manage their own affairs. Adults can plan ahead of time for that possibility by creating durable powers of attorney. That way, someone they trust has the authority to make medical decisions or manage their resources.

Long-term care planning often requires careful consideration of someone’s circumstances and potential future needs. Addressing those concerns before someone requires intensive support can help ensure their comfort and financial stability in their golden years.